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CRUCIAL BLAST WEBSTORE: NEW ARRIVALS - FEBRUARY 2024

Get ready for a MASSIVE list of new releases, rare warehouse finds, and everything in between! I'm working on this huge list right now, the first for 2024, so stay tuned!



Here's a quick rundown of most of the other new releases and re-stocks that are on this week's new arrivals list:


COMING SOON

As always, that's just the beginning. There's much more mutant heavy music and misanthropic art to be found on our shelves and in our bins...keep reading below to check out all of the strange and extreme new music, film, and art that's included in this week's new arrivals list.

You can now click on the cover image for any title that we carry here at Crucial Blast to see a pop-up photograph of the actual item! Not all of our older titles that we have in stock have product photographs attached to them, but almost anything new that we get in stock will have this feature. The pop-up photo feature can be wonky (like most things) if you are using Internet Explorer, but works perfectly in Firefox and other browsers.



FEATURED RELEASE


VRAJITOR’S TENEBRARIUM  E.N.L.D.  CD   (Avantgarde Music)   18.99
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There are certain things that grab my attention when it comes to discovering new bands and artists. I try to pay attention to several outstanding Youtube channels that post amazing demos, and Bandcamp releases from bands I've never heard of. Sometimes, I'll be searching through Metal-Archives.com for research, and I'll end up chasing some killer obscure act from Slovenia down a deep and twisting rabbit-hole. And when I'm working on Discogs, there's stuff that I see that will reach out and grab me by the throat. I'm obsessive about reading the "Style" line in band and release listings on that site. You never know what you might find.

Like a band described as "Prog Rock, Dungeon Synth, Funk Metal.

Alright, you' got me. And thus I stumbled across a band called Vrajitor’s Tenebrarium, a new (I assume) Finnish band with one member, a guy called Lord Vechi Vrăjitor, aka Juuso Peltola, who also plays in the black metal bands Warmoon Lord and Argenthorns. Avantgarde pouts out a lot of wild stuff (the label name is there for a reason), and when I picked up this debut album, covered in gloomy, wizard's castle-style artwork and beautifully designed in six-panel digipak, I couldn't wait to hear this thing. OK, so the whole "funk metal" tag is clearly someone being cheeky, but what it is, is some of the best Goblin / Italian prog-rock inspired mutation I've ever heard. This bizarre band wears its influences on its flowing, wizard-robe sleeves, but adds on a whole new level of groovy weirdness that's really different from the other Goblin-influenced outfits I listen to.

Kissed by gloriously nostalgic synthesizers, the opener "Et Mors Pallida Venebit" unfurls waves of majestic Tangerine Dream-esque electronics, symphonic grandeur, and huge-sounding church organs, all folded together into this striking keyboard-heavy introduction inhabited by a female vocalist that sounds like she wandered in from the Celtic Frost Into the Pandemonium sessions. A short but killer blast of synth-drenched darkwave then leads into the similarly synth-heavy prog rock of "Rubedo", filled with lush acoustic strings and spooky arpeggios that have an odd Fabio Frizzi vibe even as the metallic power chords and booming percussion kicks in. When this really starts to rock, it's fuckin' awesome. "Rubedo" has this distinctly 80's spook-prog vibe that's unmistakable, conjuring memories of both Frizzi and Goblin, as well as the weird gothic prog of Jacula and Devil Doll. The way this stuff is layered together with the crunchy, metallic guitars and driving backbeat is just spot-on, man. It's really not at all what I was expecting at first; it's the best type of surprise. Heavy, funky, pseudo-Italian goodness, where Vrajitor breathes much power and magic into the eleven songs, laying down infectiously catchy hooks and a hard rock backbone alongside all of his spirited weirdness. Some righteous saxophone shows up on "Black Frog" next to delicious woodwinds in the background, more elegant acoustic strings on "Lucus Horribilem Atque Pestilentem" as it erupts into a kind of Blue Oyster Cult-meets-Goblin ecstasy; the album feels mostly instrumental, although those feminine vocals and some echoing, chant-like voices do pop up throughout the album. The keyboards get even more Claudio Simonetti-esque as it winds through the labyrinth of moody progressive rock, heavy, crunching riffs, and soaring dark melody, but Vrajitor succeeds in giving this its own unique character, nimbly avoiding being another retro-Goblin-influenced outfit and producing a full, sensual piece of music that (despite the obvious influences) stands on its own as an incredible and original slab of occult Italo-prog. Those Tardo Pede In Magian Versus-era Jacula and Antonius Rex influences are every bit as prominent as the other stuff as well , especially whenever Vrajitor lays on that heavy liturgical pipe organ. The sounds of bouzouki (again, shades of Goblin's Suspiria) and clarinet spread through many of the tracks. There's some great experimental atonality in a few tracks, particularly the pair of songs that close the album, "Exorcismus" and "Semper Victimas Vult ", which wrap it all up with Gregorian-style chanting and an air of an arcane ritual ceremony. Stunning production, too. This album fills the air around me, with all of its intricacies and nuances. I also can't get over how much sax action is happening here, too - the winding jazzy convulsions of "Volantes Castrum" are one of the best on E.N.L.D., especially when the horn segues into some straight-up heavy metal guitar heroics, killer shredding matched by the wild onslaught of chamber strings, piano and whooshing synth. And it is indeed very "funky", the drumming performance propelling the songs forward into huge, massive grooves, eve sliding into stuff like the quasi-disco delirium of "Sanitarium Son".

It's the ultimate in 70's style "spook-prog", free of any kind of retro-irony. I can't stop listening to this. If you're as into the aforementioned bands as well as stuff like Daemonia, Anima Morte, Morte Macabre, Giallos Flame, and even older stuff like Sacrifice-era Black Widow and Halloween -era Outsider , this seriously gets the highest possible recommendation from me.



NEW ADDITIONS


SLOGUN  Will To Kill  CD   (Bloodlust!)   12.99
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Part of the exhaustive History Of Violence reissue series from Bloodlust!, this re-mastered redux of Slogun's evil power electronics masterwork Will To Kill is one of my favorite albums from John Balistreri's "true crime electronics" outfit, one of the key architects of crushing American power electronics.

Originally released on cassette by Bloodlust! and Balistreri's own Circle Of Shit imprint back in 1996, Will To Kill is a titanic belch of hellish gas and acid from the bowels of Hell. Slogun has always been one of the heaviest American electronics artists, not just because of his relentlessly misanthropic outlook but also because the guy creates some of the most violent, bass-heavy electronic soundscapes around. When the first track "Kraft" kicks in, it just rolls over you like a bulldozer with it's crushing whoosh of radioactive winds and distorted synth drones. The klaxon warning chirps that come in later just make this sound even more like the final minutes before the thermonuclear wave hits. The other tracks on Will To Kill tend to maintain a similar level of brute destructive power, though there's plenty of atmospheric passages too, like the rumbling deep-space drones and smoldering noise on "Blood", which resembles something from Japanese cosmos-destroyers CCCC more than a typical PE outburst. On the other hand, "Street Cleaner" viciously blasts off into a killswarm of mangled radio transmissions, murderous distorted whispers ("....listen to me...listen to me...), dense distorted black winds buffet the speakers, a repulsively brain-melting blast of black electronics. Following electro-attacks like "Mindhunter" and "Trolling" are no less carnivorous, reveling in the bliss of predatory behaviors as a rain of acid feedback and wall-like distortion falls to earth. It's all a black seething mass of psychedelic electronic violence and total terror that climaxes with the serial killing mantra "Trash", an ode to Gary Ridgway aka the "Green River Killer".

Essential for anyone into Slogun's brutal electronics and the murderous extremes of underground industrial/noise.


Track Samples:
Sample : SLOGUN-Will To Kill
Sample : SLOGUN-Will To Kill
Sample : SLOGUN-Will To Kill


CHRISTIAN DEATH  Ashes  CASSETTE   (Season Of Mist)   9.99
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     Both Christian Death's Ashes and Catastrophe Ballet were recently released on limited-edition cassette tape, both already sold out from the source.

     While Christian Death did put out some highly listenable material after the departure of founding member Rozz Williams (at least early on), there's really only three Christian Death albums that you really, really need in your collection: the pioneering and provocative 1982 debut Only Theatre Of Pain, and the two albums with both Williams and Valor Kand that followed, Catastrophe Ballet and Ashes. All of these are key works in the death rock canon, and their combined influence has reached well into the realms of extreme metal, industrial music and beyond; any headbanger who turns their nose up at Christian Death's early works simply based on the band's campy look should consider sitting down and listening to these albums side by side with Celtic Frost's 80s output to see just how far the band's black tendrils extended. There's been a recent resurgence of interest in the early Christian Death material, though, what with this whole death rock revival thing that's been going on for the past few years, and it looks like a whole new generation of listeners has been turning on to the weird, morbid genius of Rozz Williams. Not a moment too soon, I say. We've had the reissue of Only Theatre Of Pain available here for awhile, but up till now never stocked the following two albums, both of which were reissued by Season Of Mist in 2009; featuring booklet materials from the original first edition LP releases on L'Invitation Au Suicide and newly re-mastered, both come with the highest recommendation for anyone obsessed with true death rock and the most macabre fringes of post-punk.

     Originally released in 1985 on French label L'Invitation Au Suicide, Ashes was the final album from the Rozz Williams-fronted lineup of Christian Death, and an end to an era. While I won't completely write off the post-Williams output from Christian Death (the subsequent 1986 album Atrocities is pretty goddamn good), this was the last chapter in what had been a genre-defining run of albums, now iconic entries in the American death rock canon. On their third album, Christian Death were getting even more progressive, evolving into something totally unique within the realm of American post-punk. Williams' vocals are more measured, less overwrought than before, and there's a heavier feel to this material; maybe more so here than with any of the other Christian Death records, you can really pick out the elements of their sound that so enamored Tom Warrior - one listen to the driving, almost metal-tinged power that emanates off of the opening title track, and you can hear echoes of what would later emerge on Celtic Frost's Into The Pandemonium, the end of the song showcasing a ferocity rarely heard in this era of the band. From there, the eerie instrumental "Ashes Part 2" leads into more of Rozz's penchant for experimental soundscapery, and all throughout the album he laces the tracks with peripheral traces of Gregorian chant and ghostly mechanical sounds, squealing violins and nightmarish sound collage, even dreamlike forays into Weimar cabaret on "Lament (Over The Shadows)". The actual songs are some of their best, too. "When I Was Bed" is classic death rock, catchy and propulsive and draped in elegant shadow, and "Face" is the band at their churning best, fusing a smoldering psychedelic quality to the rolling tribal drums and handclaps and cob-webbed post-punk guitars, another all time favorite. Other highlights on the album include the slow brooding atmosphere that wraps around "The Luxury Of Tears", the metallic mausoleum creep of "Before The Rain" that transforms into something surprisingly triumphant, and the bad-dream dread of closer "Of The Wound", the sound of a screaming infant laid over a nightmarish string section and discordant piano, taking the album out into a final sprawl of surrealistic weirdness. A genuine classic of morbid post-punk.


Track Samples:
Sample : CHRISTIAN DEATH-Ashes
Sample : CHRISTIAN DEATH-Ashes
Sample : CHRISTIAN DEATH-Ashes
Sample : CHRISTIAN DEATH-Ashes


RAMLEH  8 Ball Corner Pocket  7" VINYL   (Sympathy For The Record Industry)   10.99
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Another rare warehouse find from the depths of the SFTRI vaults, one of two EPs that the esteemed punk/garage label released in the early 90s from these previous power electronics pioneers-cum-psychedelic skullstompers

Don't ask me what is going on with that front cover. It's an atrocity of some kind, I;'m sure, and I wouldn't want to be in those penguins' shoes. It always leaves many more questions than answers, even thirty years later.

OK, down to the tunes: two tracks, the A-side "8 Ball Corner Pocket" comes in hot like German firebombers, furious tribal-like drumming at full power pummeling you while droning acoustic guitar, distant yelling, and excoriating blasts of distorted guitar noise surge and recede, dropping an offbeat, fairly pissed-sounding shockslab of violent neo-psychedelia / acid-damaged noise rock; it's right in step with the sort of freeform quasi-sludge rock drugginess that Ram;eh was neck-deep in during the first half of the 90s. It's a banger, and grows more fucked and overmodulated and electronically warped as it lumbers into brain-scraping oblivion, neverending, fading into the eternal. The other one is "Trapped Aircraft", a jangly, maudlin lo-fi outsider pop trip at first before erupting in their inimitable style into deafening blasts of roof-shaking percussive chaos and quasi-blastbeat mayhem, blurts of naieve melody cwirling beneath a musical carcass of wah-pedal overdrive, filthy powerchords, and effects lifting the whol maggot-boiling body into the heavens. A perfect example of how these guys could toe that line between striking improvisational beauty and total world-eating armageddon; imagine Beat Happening being beaten mercilessly by a roving band of Hanatarash members. Sound good? It does to me.


Track Samples:
Sample : Trapped Aircraft
Sample : Ramleh: 8 Ball Corner Pocket


ANNTHENNATH  States Of Liberating Departure  CASSETTE   (Wohrt Records)   6.99
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Track Samples:
Sample : Survival Activation
Sample : Somatic Hedonism
Sample : Atomic Demise


DEATHSPELL OMEGA  The Synarchy Of Molten Bones  CD   (Norma.Evangelium.Diaboli)   15.98
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GRAVESIDESERVICE  Fog  CD   (Church of the Immaculate Deception)   5.99
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NUCLEAR DEATH  Harmony Drinks of Me  CD   (Cats Meow)   14.99
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CAVE IN  Until Your Heart Stops (REISSUE - BLOOD RED/SEA BLUE VINYL)  2 x LP   (Relapse)   28.99
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Track Samples:
Sample : Halo Of Flies
Sample : Moral Eclipse
Sample : The End Of Our Rope Is A Noose


CELTIC FROST  Morbid Tales (Deluxe Reissue)  2 x LP   (Noise)   39.99
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SUBROSA  No Help For The Mighty Ones  CD   (Profound Lore)   13.98
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Track Samples:
Sample : SUBROSA-No Help For The Mighty Ones
Sample : SUBROSA-No Help For The Mighty Ones


KULTURA KURENIJA (SMOKING CULTURE)  Necrophilia  CD   (Maa Productions)   14.98
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AUROCH  From Forgotten Worlds  LP   (20 Buck Spin)   23.98
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SIGH  Scorn Defeat  2 x LP   (The Crypt)   28.99
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A super-limited new vinyl reissue of Sigh's debut album Scorn Defeat released by the revivalists over at The Crypt. This new 2017 edition features the original release on the first LP and a second LP of bonus material that apparently appears here for the first time, including the three early mix tracks ("The Knell", "At My Funeral", and "Taste Defeat"), and a live soundboard recording taken from an August 1991 at Harajuku Los Angeles Club, Tokyo. The records come in a heavyweight gatefold jacket that copies the original Deathlike Silence cover and layout. Here's our original review for the album:

There's few black metal bands as quirky and strange as Japan's Sigh, who have been delivering their whacked-out brand of cinematic prog-influenced blackthrash since the early 1990's. The band burst into the black metal underground when their debut album Scorn Defeat was released in 1993 on Deathlike Silence, the label run by Euronymous from Mayhem, and Sigh's debut would become legendary for being the last release on the label before Euronymous was murdered. But even if Scorn Defeat hadn't been caught in the shadow of the events chronicled in Lords Of Chaos, this album would still have become one of the great cult classics of the second wave of black metal just for it's sheer weirdness. From Imaginary Sonicscape (the band's brilliant 2001 masterpiece) onward, Sigh has become one of the world's most psychedelic metal bands, blending together Wagnerian bombast and 70's psychedelia and jazz fusion and Venom and John Zorn into a unique and mind-boggling sound of their own, but it might surprise a lot of fans that haven't heard Sigh's earliest material just how oddball the band was even in the beginning. Compared to their later albums, Scorn Defeat is obviously a black metal album, with lots of killer fast paced buzzsaw riffing and blastbeats and slower dirgier parts, and the song titles and lyrics all pointed towards the kind of death worship that no doubt had the Norwegian black metal kids bugging out. But then there's the weird band photos, with the not-quite-right corpse paint makeup that's way more kabuki than necro, and the band doing battle with fuckin' maces while Mirai breathes fire in the background...and then there's the music itself, a ripping black metal attack that's heavily influenced by the primitive sound of classic Venom, but which is injected with weird prog-rock interludes, classical piano (that's shockingly competent compared to what most bands were doing with keyboards back then), subtle psychedelic overtones and other elements that made it abundantly clear that Sigh were not just another black metal band...

The first song "A Victory Of Dakini" is as heavy and blackened as anything off their most recent, and already pointed towards the wild, avant-garde direction that Sigh would continue in; the songs kicks off with a halting doomy dirge and some acoustic guitar over top, then lurches into a plodding black metal riff with that unique majestic quality that all of Sigh's riffs have, super catchy but dark and evil, and it winds through slower sections of gloomy acoustic strum and grim mid-paced dirge with Mirai's distinctive raspy vocals. But then towards the end of the song, the band breaks off into a weird punky riff that suddenly erupts into an insane Hendrix-style acid-guitar freak-out complete with jazzy bass, which goes on for a minute or so, stops abruptly, and then goes right back in to the gloomy black dirge, only this time the band backs the music with beautiful Pink Floyd-like vocal harmonies and Hammond-like keyboards. It's the sort of jarring and bizarre shift in tone that won't surprise anyone who's heard their classic Imaginary Sonicscape album, but I bet that this confused quite a few black metallers back in 1993.

"The Knell" is more straightforward black metal, thrashing buzz-saw guitars and scorched vocals, epic melodies clashing with squealing Slayerized solos, but as the song progresses, it starts to reveal another proggy arrangement, this time moving into passages of heavy keyboard and acoustic guitar that alternate with the heavier parts, and culminating in a blazing psychedelic climax with ripping harpsichord solos (!) and angelic vocal choirs. "At My Funeral" gets even stranger, mixing up that Venom-esque mid-paced plod with more tinkling piano lines, soaring choral synths, and a killer theatrical part that kicks in during the middle.

On "Gundali", the guitars are excised completely for another theatrical sounding piece that combines church organs / harpsichord keys, Mirai speaking in a low, creepy whisper, tambourines and a simple repetitive drumbeat into a cinematic dirge that later turns into a purely instrumental performance of classical piano. The black metal returns on the next song, though, and it's one of my favorites - "Ready For The Final War" is another proggy blackthrash anthem, with some of the most crushing riffage on the album, going from synth-driven drama to raging high-speed thrash to one of those immensely rocking and catchy Venom-chugs that, again, turns into a pure piano piece at the end, one that's so beautiful and jazzy it's as much of a shock as any of the other moments of weirdness that have previously appeared on the album. The rest of Scorn Defeat is loaded with these amazing what-the-fuck moments, like the jazz piano that pops up in the middle of the black metal anthem "Weakness Within", or the Floydian atmospherics and chiming triangles (how often do you hear those on a black metal album?) on "Taste Defeat".


Track Samples:
Sample : SIGH-Scorn Defeat
Sample : SIGH-Scorn Defeat
Sample : SIGH-Scorn Defeat


BAND, RICHARD  Ghoulies (Original Soundtrack)  CD   (We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want)   17.99
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Track Samples:
Sample : Bring Forth The Ghoulies
Sample : First Incantation
Sample : Main Titles


VARIOUS ARTISTS  Ancient Meat Revived  LP   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)   19.98
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VOIVOD  Rrroooaaarrr (Deluxe Reissue)  2 x CD + DVD   (Noise)   19.98
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NEGATIVE STANDARDS  Fetters  LP   (Vendetta)   14.99
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BOHREN & DER CLUB OF GORE  Bohren For Beginners  2 x CD   (PIAS Recordings)   16.98
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FIRE  Issue 1  MAGAZINE   (Fire)   14.98
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LOTUS THIEF  Gramarye  2 x LP   (Prophecy Productions)   32.98
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VVLTVRE  My Will Is To Self-Destruct  CDR   (Annihilvs)   9.98
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CYBER-PSYCHOS A.O.D.  Issue 2  MAGAZINE   (CyberPsychos AOD Publishing)   6.00
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SCOLOPENDRA  Those Of The Catacombs  LP   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)   19.98
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Track Samples:
Sample : Exhumed Corpse Exaltation
Sample : Sacrarium Profanation
Sample : Tormenting Dying Nuns


GREAT KAT, THE  Bloody Vivaldi  CD   (TPR Music)   6.99
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EXECUTIONERS MASK  Winterlong  2 x CD   (Profound Lore)   13.99
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MANSON FAMILY, THE  The Manson Family Sings The Songs Of Charles Manson  CASSETTE   (TPOS)   6.99
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Track Samples:
Sample : I'll Never Say Never To Always
Sample : Goin' To The Church House
Sample : The Fires Are Burning


SHITNOISE BASTARDS  Lo-fi Does Not Mean Sucks, It A Threat!!!  7" VINYL   (SPHC)   6.50
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Ah, gaaaaahhhh...I love that goddamn title, Lo-fi Does Not Mean Sucks, It A Threat!!!, paired up with the amazingly hideous sleeve art of sppiked-up skeletal punks throttling a cop and then vomiting all over piles of bones. This has to be insanity, right?

"Only booze and noise" is their mantra

a million splits with the likes of _____ in their awesomely cruddy wake , including platters with Sete Star Sept (with whom they share a certain metal-inged blastpunk sound),

Fourteen songs on the front, elecven on the back, just total and complete quasi-noisecore chaos across the board. They've got that absurd 1-2-3-4 count-off and peals of feedback between songs that is total noisecore delivery, but there's definitely some actual riffs and song structures in here. Mind you, they are absolutely berserk, and their moments of hyperspeed metallic crust blast are fleeting visions of endtime barbarity in between the meltdowns of musicality, these rippin' riffs almost always devolving right before your ears into atonal , aleatory carnage.I love this stuff, it harnesses some of the sound and vibe of the late 80s UK extreme hardcore aesthetic, Intense Degree and the like, a couple eruptions of D-beeat power going completely off of the rails, scorched screeching animalistic vocals constantly going ballistic, but smooshed amongst these clattery crazed freeform fallouts, with a bunch of savaging guitar solos shredding through everything, and a few rare moments of more restrained improv wierdness. Noisegrind, noisecore, "raw grind", whatever - these guys are heinous. Completely out of control. Highly recommended for those that despise melody and



CHAIN, PAUL  Ash  LP   (BloodRock Records)   24.99
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MITOCHONDRION / AUROCH  In Cronian Hour  7" VINYL   (Dark Descent)   9.99
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It's like a reunion of old pals, as these two Canadian deathwarp outfits share several members between 'em. And the chaotic, brutally oblique death metal that each band spews out into the hyperverse feels like it's tethered to a familiar mass of radioactive plasma; this shit is fuckin' weird, so it should come as no surprise that each band is among my personal faves in the contemporary pantheon of bizarro tech-death.

the two bands in tandem brings you twelve minutes total of corrosive, high-velocity havoc.

Auroch's openingg side sloshes with the spetic, sulfuric magnificence of "Leaden Words Sown", early in the song doing a delicate teetering between Immolation-on-meth spiked heaviosity and these peaking moments of stunning alien majesty; the latter half of "Sown" shifts downward into a series of abdominal-stomping sludgy atonalty, blasting multi-skreiking chaos, and a steadily building feeling of all-out cacophony until it blows apart into this awesome stretch of industrial-tinged dark ambience, looping chantlike voices and pulsating machinelike rhythms winding beneath a mist-blanket of chemical vapors, experimental guitar / effects noise, and melted elecrtronic textures. Man, I fucking love this band.

On the other, Mitochondrion "Gilded Words Reaped" spins you off into an even more confusional galactic rot-blast, not suprising considering just ghow insanely unique and warped their album Parasignosis was (as far as the C-Blast compound is concerned, that disc is still one of the most brain-eating blasts of avant-garde death metal of the past decade): brilliant use of emotive, crafted melodic forms is employed against a backdrop of nutzoid mega-multi-layered Gorgutsian atonality and vision, and an exotic, insidious structural style that somehow makes this song "Reaped" balanced on the pinpoint between super-catchy melodic death metal epicnesssss and all-out skull-folding chordal chaos. Abyssal is one of the only other bands I can think of that are able to bridge these sonic regions, but Mitochondrion are even more confounding and convoluted. An amazing song.

The record is beautifully packaged in a gatefold jacket with spot-varnish printing.


Track Samples:
Sample : AUROCH - Leaden Words Sown
Sample : ��MITOCHONDRION  Gilded Words Reaped


SUGIMOTO, TAKU  Mienai Tenshi  LP   (Weird Forest)   18.99
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his subsequrnt experiments in avant-garde guitar mutation that led to a world of strange percussive , lyrical soundscapes , often imbued with a quiet, faded beauty on classic albums like Myshkin Musicu and the almost mystical minimalism of his collab with Cristian Alvear, ‘h’.

But that's not what you get here. Nope.

As it turned out, Sugimoto's actual debut album was this, Mienai Tenshi, an incendiary blast of extreme guitar noise performed solo, recorded live at the Tokyo venue Yaneura in latee February of 1988, then issued in a tiny private, self-released pressing of one hundred copies. Now available on a slightly larger scale via Weird Forest, this new presentation of Tenshi better captures the atmosphere of the sounds cut into this processed petroleum; although the label has lovingly included reproductions of the original insert sheet, the record is now housed in a pitch-black sleeve with embossed lettering, matching the color of your charred bones once you're done exposing yourself to Sugimoto's total obliteration. In the annals of experimental extreme noise-guitar improvisation, this motherfucker is at the top of the heap for sheer violent power. It's obvious that Sugimoto was coming from a psychedelic rock position, but man, this stuff goes beyond. It's all basically one eponymous piece, taking his amplified, incredibly distorted electric guitar and transforming it into a goddamn flamethrower, an assault of piercing high-end feedback skree, freeform riffing, atonal shredding and harmonic squeals, kicking off a complete cacophony that fans out from the speakers.

But as you move through this sonic warzone, which is cathartic enough on its own if you're a fan of extreme axe torture and free-improvisation, Sugimoto pulls back the squall for short periods where a quasi-bluesy vamp will show up, or an epiphanic chug-a-thon coms out of nowhere grinding the air beneath its force, these motes and chunks of form and structure that spill out of his relentless assault on the instrument. I think it's awesome. Dizzying. A standout in the late 80's Japanese improv underground, summoning up gales of destructive force and atonal abomination, only to be largely abandoned by Sugimoto within a very short time.

The label draws reference points to the TOYKO HYPER-SPEEDFREAK PSYCHBLAST underground, which is cetainly reasonable, but they also cite the pioneering Japanese jazz / improv guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi as another pole of possible influence. An interesting notion, as Sugimoto's attack shares some of the similiar pointilist note clusters and intemsely expressive string warping ________________

But this album also ranks up there with the most ear-beating industrial-strength skronk of Matt Bower and Skullflower, Ramleh's guitars at their most unhinged, even the more recent string-battery that Marcia Bassett has done with her Zaïmph project.

Hell, therre are a couple of moments on this platter that could easily pass for an extended Greg Ginn solo.



LORD KAOS  Thorns Of Impurity  CASSETTE   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)   11.99
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ALLIN, GG  Freaks, Faggots, Drunks & Junkies  CD   (Aware-One Records)   14.99
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Now also available in a limited-edition 2022 "shit mix” colored vinyl edition for all of you distinguished aesthetes out there.

In 2016 year of our lord, it's almost unfathomable that this rare beast could have once stalked the face of the earth. But when I need a real social palette cleanser, I turn to the late 80s GG Allin stuff. And this motherfucker is top of the pile, one of the filth-king's rattiest and nastiest albums. The fifth album from Allin and originally released on Gerard Cosloy's Homestead Records, Freaks captures the beast during my favorite period of his career: with this particular expression of his monstrous Id, Allin enlisted the talents of Bulge, who otherwise belched out a couple of rippin' thrashcore releases on Ax/ction and Fudgeworthy in the early 90s, and who featured members of Gonkulator, Jesus Chrust, and Psycho. Bulge's drummer Charlie Infection had already previously worked with Allin by including the song "I Wanna Suck Your Cunt" on the Welcome To Ax/ction Island compilation. Bulge was a relatively tighter, more "stable" band compared to Allin's previous backing group, so the team-up made sense.

That said, this album is a warzone: a pitch-shifted GG lays down the law with the spoken word intro "My Revenge", then throws us headfirst into a nineteen-song orgy of drug-damaged blues riffs and monstrously fucked-up hardcore punk. His vocals sound totally scorched here, like the man has been swilling gasoline in between vocal takes. "Be My Fuckin Whore"' offers a litany of degradation and misogynistic abuse set to primitive hardcore, with some almost Greg Ginn-level guitar warp going on when it rips into a solo, followed by the thirty-second noisecore-esque blast-chaos of "Suck My Ass It Smells". "Dog Shit" delivers what is possibly my favorite line from the guy, "...Get the fuck outta my bread line...", and that general mean-spirited, ragged hardcore attack makes up the bulk of Freaks.

Other scorchers include sickoid mid-tempo rippers like "Anti Social Masterbator" (sic)and "Last In Line For The Gang Bang" that collectively climb right into your head and won't leave. You've got a nod to David Allan Coe via "Outlaw Scumfuc". And with the messed-up and overtly brain-damaged moments like the lumbering, tuneless skull-beating on "Wild Riding" and "Crash & Burn" , Allin and crew puke up a kind of Flipper / Kilslug / Black Flag-style scum-dirge that's swarming with gruesome guitar skronk, grating atonal synthesizer, go-nowhere sludgepunk riffing, and some of the more unsettling and orgasmic vocals we've heard from Allin. Goddamn awesome stuff. The closer "My Bloody Mutilation" is a drawn-out, industrial nightmare, a fog of clanking, metallic atonality and tortured invective screams, raving madness set to a oily black shimmer of deformed ambience, almost Abruptum-like in it's sheer abject hideousness. But if I had to give you just one reason to pick up this atrocity, it's the song "Die When You Die" (actually itself a sort-of cover of Destroy All Monsters's proto-punk classic "You're Gonna Die" ), a perfectly formed piece of anti-social, anti-human punk rock that has gone on to be covered by countless punk and black metal bands in the decades since. It's one of the greatest Allin songs of all time.

Bottom line is this- fans of fucked-up and demented 80s' hardcore who haven't heard this stuff are missing out. This is hanging out on the most terrible fringes of hardcore. The height of anti-social art-psychosis and chaos-invocation in the latter half of the 1980s. The Freaks album could sit nicely alongside other albums that I would term "outsider hardcore", in spite of some probable pushback from members of the punk scene. But GG and the Bulge beasts were not interested in working within the parameters of the then-current hardcore scene. This is so much more transgressive, more bizarre, more genuinely deranged and incontrovertibly misanthropic, more dissident and self-destroying in every possible way. Allin himself considered this album to be one of the best of his career. A sodomatic , Dionysian immolation rite, pursuing ultimate physical transcendence in a manner not unlike the Aghori sect. And man, nobody ever came close to hustling the way that GG did. It's a sight and sound to behold. Everyone else was performing theater. This was the real deal.



DEAD MEADOW  Force Form Free  CD   (Blues Funeral)   11.99
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Track Samples:
Sample : The Lure of the Next Peak
Sample : To Let the Time Go By
Sample : Force Form Free


POISON RUIN  Poison Ruin  CASSETTE   (Relapse)   9.99
Poison Ruin IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER











NOISEAR  Turbulent Resurgence  LP   (Deep Six)   14.99
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This vinyl version (courtesy of Deep Six) leaves off the psychedelic harsh noise outro, alas, but everything else is here. Nineteen songs, sixteen minutes. All go, baby. From opener "Pressure Blast " to closer "Fiery Rebirth", Noisear crank out a stream of methamphetimine avant-grind that leaves me needing a new spinal fusion. It continues to boggle my mind how complex a forty-five second song can be, but these guys cram in a ridiculous amount of angularity, intricate math-damaged riff structures, and dissonant weirdness into each of these brief blurts of hyperviolence. The production on Resurgence is more raw and unpolished compared to their follow-up, and that roughness and grit adds urgency to the already out-of-control blast attack. With songs averaging about fifty seconds, each erupts in a crazed, confusional tangle of discordant riffs, spastic drumming, bizarre and menacing melodies taking form in the chaos. It's pretty wild how complex this stuff gets in songs like "Justifiable Homicide / Legal Gangsters", "Grains Of Sand", and "Blood Bag For The Leeches", unraveling knots of serrated guitar parts, hectic percussive patterns, and disgusting guttural grunts heaving up chunks of minimalist negatory lyricism, haiku-esque explosions from the Id that evoke an endless nihilism and apocalyptic outlook; this stuff is seriously pissed. Blots of bleak, grinding noise churn for a moment amidst the tornado of tech-grind blasts, but the songs also blend in some killer hardcore punk elements with the occasional D-beat or stripped-down crust assault; this stuff definitely has more of a "punk" edge to it compared to the more complex, multibranched hysteria that defines Subvert The Dominant Paradigm and Pyroclastic Annhiallation. I get the feeling that Noisear were letting their primal grind background hang out a little more on this go-round. Personally, I love the many moments on this album that evoke a "crustier", filthier Discordance Axis twitch-grind feel. That gets you songs like "Fiery Rebirth", "6 Million Miles" and "Harsh Reality" where you can actually grab ahold of these killer, thrashing riffs for a moment before being spun back out into the vortex.

Noisear never dissapoint. These maniacs spurt so much spontaneous, unpredictable sonic violence out of this record that even its brevity doesn't temper the overall aural overload. As with all of their releases, this is right up there with the weirdo-grind complexity and riff-experimentation / variation you'll find in bands like Antigama, Gridlink, Human Remains, early Brutal Truth, and, of course, Discordance Axis.


Track Samples:
Sample : Surrounded By Control
Sample : Murderous
Sample : Born Alone, Die Alone
Sample : Black Trust


CULTIC  Whip Seduction (LARGE)  SHIRT   (Crucial Blast)   20.00
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Released alongside the skull-stomping new Seducer (Expanded Edition) EP, the Whip Seduction shirt features a stunning, brand-new design by Cultic drummer and acclaimed illustrator Rebecca Magar. This design is exclusive to Crucial Blast, and features what could well be my favorite art from Rebecca / Wailing Wizard to date - for real, I'm possessed by an overwhelming impulse to get this tattooed on my person. Perfectly capturing the sleaze, filth, and carnal violence of Cultic's brand of atavistic, dungeon synth-soaked death metal, it's also one of the coolest designs that we've released over here at C-Blast. This is a highly quality three-color print courtesy of our collaborators at Forest Passage Printing, available on black 100% cotton Gildan garments. GET SEDUCED.

SHIPPING THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 9TH, 2024.




BORIS  Pink (Deluxe)  2 x CD   (Sargent House)   19.98
Pink (Deluxe) IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Back in stock.

     

Here's another amazing late-oughts reissue that just came in, a new deluxe Ten Year Anniversary reissue of Boris's Pink, quite possibly the band's finest hour, resurrected via this crushing double-disc version and an even more monstrous triple-LP boxset, both filled to the gills with additional material. Originally released on Southern Lord here in the U.S., Pink further perfected the ultra blown-out psychedelia that had taken over Boris's sound throughout the decade, blending massive pop hooks and soaring melodies and heartfelt singing with their trademark use of downtuned guitar-crush and amplifier-torching noise. This was where people really started to lose their shit over this band, and their tour for the album here in the States was one of the most intense things I'd seen in quite some time. I probably pull Pink off the shelf more than any other album of theirs, and this reissue is a glorious re-examination of the band's work, pairing the original album with an entire extra disc of studio material titled Pink Sessions "Forbidden Songs", nine additional songs that were recorded during the same period and which compliment the album material nicely, serving up equal doses of their pulverizing slo-mo sludge, distorted psych blast and hazy, heat-warped pop. If you're a fan of heavy psychedelia and haven't heard this album yet, don't waste another second. Here's what I was ranting about back when we originally got the album in stock:

      The stateside release of 2005's Pink, courtesy of Southern Lord. It's a goddamn fantastic new studio blast from the band, starting off with a bleary haze of gorgeous crumbling shoegazer dirge that almost had us fooled into thinking that Boris was going to start copping Jesu/My Bloody Valentine-esque moves...but then they explode into that total destructo fuzzbomb rock that has been the focus of most of their recent albums. Eleven tracks of amped-up stoner/acid rock, saturated in tons of fuzz and reminding us of Guitar Wolf a bit, but totally crushing, every riff is godlike, and the band has incorporated melodies in a whole new way. Ultra rocking, but Boris also inject some of the other sound forms that they have worked with in the past, moving from crushing mega-drones, to blasts of ferociously noisy punk rock, to grim psych shades, and there is this ridiculously catchy, dare-we-say downright poppy melodicism that shows up throughout Pink that easily makes this the most accessible Boris album yet, while always remaining a fuzz-drowned acid/rock/sludge juggernaut. We've been jamming this album NON-STOP here at C-Blast, and we think that this might just be the ultimate Boris album, a masterpiece of catchy, epic, psychedelic heavy rock.

      As with the original Southern Lord version, the packaging for both versions of this reissue is exquisite. It's also almost completely different from the previous releases, as well. The double CD version comes in a clear jewel case that has the titles and the track list printed directly onto the plastic of the case itself, quite an interesting design effect; the booklet itself is a multi-part foldout that includes additional inserts, including perforated sheets designed in the style of old-school blotter acid. The LP boxset, on the other hand, houses the three records inside of a die-cut heavyweight folio, along with the assorted insert materials and a download card; fans should note that the vinyl edition actually features the original track lengths for the songs, some of which were edited for the CD versions, ultimately making this a distinctly different release from the CD.


Track Samples:
Sample : Farewell
Sample : Blackout
Sample : Just Abondoned My-Self
Sample : Heavy Rock Industry
Sample : Talisman


VRAJITOR’S TENEBRARIUM  E.N.L.D.  LP   (Avantgarde Music)   30.99
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There are certain things that grab my attention when it comes to discovering new bands and artists. I try to pay attention to several outstanding Youtube channels that post amazing demos, and Bandcamp releases from bands I've never heard of. Sometimes, I'll be searching through Metal-Archives.com for research, and I'll end up chasing some killer obscure act from Slovenia down a deep and twisting rabbit-hole. And when I'm working on Discogs, there's stuff that I see that will reach out and grab me by the throat. I'm obsessive about reading the "Style" line in band and release listings on that site. You never know what you might find.

Like a band described as "Prog Rock, Dungeon Synth, Funk Metal.

Alright, you' got me. And thus I stumbled across a band called Vrajitor’s Tenebrarium, a new (I assume) Finnish band with one member, a guy called Lord Vechi Vrăjitor, aka Juuso Peltola, who also plays in the black metal bands Warmoon Lord and Argenthorns. Avantgarde pouts out a lot of wild stuff (the label name is there for a reason), and when I picked up this debut album, covered in gloomy, wizard's castle-style artwork and beautifully designed in six-panel digipak, I couldn't wait to hear this thing. OK, so the whole "funk metal" tag is clearly someone being cheeky, but what it is, is some of the best Goblin / Italian prog-rock inspired mutation I've ever heard. This bizarre band wears its influences on its flowing, wizard-robe sleeves, but adds on a whole new level of groovy weirdness that's really different from the other Goblin-influenced outfits I listen to.

Kissed by gloriously nostalgic synthesizers, the opener "Et Mors Pallida Venebit" unfurls waves of majestic Tangerine Dream-esque electronics, symphonic grandeur, and huge-sounding church organs, all folded together into this striking keyboard-heavy introduction inhabited by a female vocalist that sounds like she wandered in from the Celtic Frost Into the Pandemonium sessions. A short but killer blast of synth-drenched darkwave then leads into the similarly synth-heavy prog rock of "Rubedo", filled with lush acoustic strings and spooky arpeggios that have an odd Fabio Frizzi vibe even as the metallic power chords and booming percussion kicks in. When this really starts to rock, it's fuckin' awesome. "Rubedo" has this distinctly 80's spook-prog vibe that's unmistakable, conjuring memories of both Frizzi and Goblin, as well as the weird gothic prog of Jacula and Devil Doll. The way this stuff is layered together with the crunchy, metallic guitars and driving backbeat is just spot-on, man. It's really not at all what I was expecting at first; it's the best type of surprise. Heavy, funky, pseudo-Italian goodness, where Vrajitor breathes much power and magic into the eleven songs, laying down infectiously catchy hooks and a hard rock backbone alongside all of his spirited weirdness. Some righteous saxophone shows up on "Black Frog" next to delicious woodwinds in the background, more elegant acoustic strings on "Lucus Horribilem Atque Pestilentem" as it erupts into a kind of Blue Oyster Cult-meets-Goblin ecstasy; the album feels mostly instrumental, although those feminine vocals and some echoing, chant-like voices do pop up throughout the album. The keyboards get even more Claudio Simonetti-esque as it winds through the labyrinth of moody progressive rock, heavy, crunching riffs, and soaring dark melody, but Vrajitor succeeds in giving this its own unique character, nimbly avoiding being another retro-Goblin-influenced outfit and producing a full, sensual piece of music that (despite the obvious influences) stands on its own as an incredible and original slab of occult Italo-prog. Those Tardo Pede In Magian Versus-era Jacula and Antonius Rex influences are every bit as prominent as the other stuff as well , especially whenever Vrajitor lays on that heavy liturgical pipe organ. The sounds of bouzouki (again, shades of Goblin's Suspiria) and clarinet spread through many of the tracks. There's some great experimental atonality in a few tracks, particularly the pair of songs that close the album, "Exorcismus" and "Semper Victimas Vult ", which wrap it all up with Gregorian-style chanting and an air of an arcane ritual ceremony. Stunning production, too. This album fills the air around me, with all of its intricacies and nuances. I also can't get over how much sax action is happening here, too - the winding jazzy convulsions of "Volantes Castrum" are one of the best on E.N.L.D., especially when the horn segues into some straight-up heavy metal guitar heroics, killer shredding matched by the wild onslaught of chamber strings, piano and whooshing synth. And it is indeed very "funky", the drumming performance propelling the songs forward into huge, massive grooves, eve sliding into stuff like the quasi-disco delirium of "Sanitarium Son".

It's the ultimate in 70's style "spook-prog", free of any kind of retro-irony. I can't stop listening to this. If you're as into the aforementioned bands as well as stuff like Daemonia, Anima Morte, Morte Macabre, Giallos Flame, and even older stuff like Sacrifice-era Black Widow and Halloween -era Outsider , this seriously gets the highest possible recommendation from me.



SKULLFLOWER  Evel Knievel  7" VINYL   (Sympathy For The Record Industry)   10.98
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Track Samples:
Sample : Diamond Bullet
Sample : Teenage Lightning
Sample : Even Knievel


INCANTATION  Tricennial Of Blasphemy  2 x CD   (Relapse)   14.99
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CAUCHEMAR  La Vierge Noire  LP   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)   14.98
La Vierge Noire IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER









Track Samples:
Sample : CAUCHEMAR-La Vierge Noire
Sample : CAUCHEMAR-La Vierge Noire
Sample : CAUCHEMAR-La Vierge Noire


CHRISTIAN DEATH  Catastrophe Ballet  CASSETTE   (Season Of Mist)   9.99
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      Both Christian Death's Ashes and Catastrophe Ballet were recently reissued on limited-edition cassette tape, both already sold out from the source.

      While Christian Death did put out some highly listenable material after the departure of founding member Rozz Williams (at least early on), there's really only three Christian Death albums that you really, really need in your collection: the pioneering and provocative 1982 debut Only Theatre Of Pain, and the two albums with both Williams and Valor Kand that followed, Catastrophe Ballet and Ashes. All of these are key works in the death rock canon, and their combined influence has reached well into the realms of extreme metal, industrial music and beyond; any headbanger who turns their nose up at Christian Death's early works simply based on the band's campy look should consider sitting down and listening to these albums side by side with Celtic Frost's 80s output to see just how far the band's black tendrils extended. There's been a recent resurgence of interest in the early Christian Death material, though, what with this whole death rock revival thing that's been going on for the past few years, and it looks like a whole new generation of listeners has been turning on to the weird, morbid genius of Rozz Williams. Not a moment too soon, I say. We've had the reissue of Only Theatre Of Pain available here for awhile, but up till now never stocked the following two albums, both of which were reissued by Season Of Mist in 2009; featuring booklet materials from the original first edition LP releases on L'Invitation Au Suicide and newly re-mastered, both come with the highest recommendation for anyone obsessed with true death rock and the most macabre fringes of post-punk.

      Originally released by the French label L'Invitation Au Suicide in 1984, Catastrophe Ballet is an all-time deathrock classic, part of the essential Christian Death canon. It was also the first release to feature new members Valor Kand and Gitane Demone, both of the LA post-punk outfit Pompeii 99; for this new album, Williams and his new lineup shifted away from the creepy, transgressive punk of their debut, into a more expansive and psychedelic sound that was slightly more accessible, but no less twisted. Dedicated to the memory of Andr? Breton and featuring excerpts from Jean Lorrain's classic text of nightmarish decadence, Nightmares Of An Ether Drinker, Ballet saw Williams getting deeper into his obsession with French surrealism and Dadaism, though this did nothing to improve his terminally dour mood. From it's opening salvo of sinister, kitschy haunted house organs that pave the way for the heavy bass-driven post-punk of "Beneath His Widow" (a bonus track that appears here for the first time), to the surrealistic washes of experimental texture and droning instrumentation of "Sleepwalk", the driving, disaffected menace and gloomy elegance of "The Drowning" and "Evening Falls", the pounding tribal rhythms and twitchy, stop-start momentum of "Cervix Couch" smeared in trippy Hammond organ textures, and the ritualistic dreamlike haze of "The Glass House", the band's sound was clearly becoming more sophisticated and experimental. That fey, androgynous howl that Williams belted out on the first record is replaced by a richer, more resonant croon that's frequently been compared to David Bowie, and he was often joined by Gitane Demone's soulful, sometimes bluesy wail, which added a new wrinkle to Christian Death's sound. Many of the songs on Ballet are sublimely catchy, but they also ventured further afield into the kind of creepy experimental soundscape work that Williams would explore with his solo projects later in the decade, tracks like "The Fleeing Somnambulist" blending together looping vocals, vast sprawls of warbling drone and distant industrial rumble, swells of psychedelic electronic noise and random percussion, dreamlike terrain strafed with the dark carnival sounds of what sounds like a steam-powered calliope. This results in one of the more adventurous dark post-punk albums from the era, combining themes of violence and death and eroticism with haunting hooks and an unsettling, though often strikingly beautiful vibe as no one else could. Crucial.


Track Samples:
Sample : CHRISTIAN DEATH-Catastrophe Ballet
Sample : CHRISTIAN DEATH-Catastrophe Ballet
Sample : CHRISTIAN DEATH-Catastrophe Ballet
Sample : CHRISTIAN DEATH-Catastrophe Ballet


BUZZOVEN  Violent Hits  CD   (Rusty Knuckles)   12.98
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RAMLEH  Night Hair Child  7" VINYL   (Sympathy For The Record Industry)   10.99
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Definitely one of the more obscure Ramleh releases from the early 1990s, this two-song EP from 1995 is kind of an outlier in the Ramleh back catalog as it is. The vivid, vaguely grotesque sleeve art (courtesy of Pablo Savant) seems to aim towards the at-that-point exploding "alternative rock" in the mainstream music industry

recorded and released the same year as the band's Be Careful What You Wish For album

I'm guessing that this song takes its name from the alternate title to Andrea Bianchi (Burial Ground's 1972 horror film aka What the Peeper Saw; the guys in Ramleh are certainly no novices when it comes to vintage Euro-horror.

Whistles and squeals and mayhem strays through the atavistic Stooges/Hawkwind/noise rock adjulation of "Night Hair Child (Empathy For K.C.)"; this slightly more musical-minded compared to some opf the other sonic barbarism that Ramleh were spewing in the 1990-1995 era, but it's still waaay out there screamin' towards the KHYBER BEL:T< spaced-out electronics and dundering punk riffs blasted with some incredibly vibrant drumming that's all over the place, heavy and howling and completely freaked out neo-noise-damaged-psych-thud, working it's way down to a simple two-chord riff that just pounds you straight into the soft earth for awhile. Gloriously fucked up.

But "Dicey Opera" gets into the creepzone with some angusihd film dialogue leading you into a greyhaze sonic swamp of buzzing high-voltage electronics, rumbling incoherent sludge, effects-drenched feedback freakouts that shoot straight into the ionosphere. Slower and more abstract, this one does a pretty good job of matching the vibe of Pablo's gnarly apocalyptic sleeve art, freeform nuke-charred psychnoise smeared over monstrous slow-mo aleatory drumming and explorative guitar skree, all of this coalescing into a six-minute long dark and roiling ckloud of pre-millenial dread that traisl off into the wasteland.



TREPANERINGSRITUALEN  Veil The World  LP   (Cold Spring)   32.00
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One of Trepaneringsritualen's more renowned early releases, Veil The World originally came out on cassette in a super-small run in 2011, and was later issued by Cold Spring on CD. This is a more recent 2021 vinyl pressing of the release from the same label, this slab of slavering Swedish ritualistic industrial and possessed rot worship presented in a brand new jacket design and pressed on 180 gram "bone white" vinyl, in a limited edition of five hundred copies.

On Veil The World, Trepaneringsritualen delivers my favorite mode of his work, with a series of pounding rhythmic industrial workouts that are immediately infectious and invasive, rattling the listener with steady technoid drumbeats and clanking percussion drenched in filthy murk and overlaid with those trademark harsh, black metal-esque blood-chants, the sound taking on a mesmeric, ecstatic cadence. This is the stuff that envelops a room and creates a mass of swaying bodies, a furious dancefloor-pounding industrial assault drenched in a ritualistic fervor. The title track is one of the prime examples of that sort of stuff, and one of Trepaneringsritualen's most infectious tracks; but the album is also offset by some rather nightmarish drift that appear on tracks like "Cherem" and "Avgrunden", combining evil, blackened ambience and malevolent metallic noises with guttural, inhuman vocalizations and gusts of foul, subterranean dankness.

Taken together, that combination of mesmeric, ritualistic industrial and abrasive, abstract deathscapes is what makes this project so potent. Like the electrified throb that pulsates through the ghastly death-dirge of "Lightbringer", or how "Drunk With Blood" writhes within a kind of blackened power electronics, garbled demonic shrieks stretching out beneath waves of deformed synth noise and sputtering, noxious bass. Other tracks rumble with the slow hypnotic thud of war-drums, while blasts of distorted heaviness thunder across the distance, and bursts of sickening, irradiated electronic drone sweep over vast fields of charred, blackened low-end rumble. Compared to some of the other, more ambient reissues that have come out recently, this stuff is pretty intense. And the whole thing closes with a cover of Death In June's "C’est Un Reve" that fits in perfectly among the rest of the album, transforming the song into a punishing assault of grimy, clanking industrial pummel. Over a decade later, this recording continues to stand as one of the most definitively abject, evil-sounding, and ferociously aggressive releases from Trepaneringsritualen.


Track Samples:
Sample : TREPANERINGSRITUALEN-Veil The World
Sample : TREPANERINGSRITUALEN-Veil The World
Sample : TREPANERINGSRITUALEN-Veil The World


DEATHSPELL OMEGA  The Synarchy Of Molten Bones  LP   (Norma.Evangelium.Diaboli)   23.99
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GRAVESIDESERVICE  Masters In Lunacy (Original Pressing)  CD   (Church of the Immaculate Deception)   9.99
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Track Samples:
Sample : Trephination
Sample : Electroconvulsive Therapy
Sample : Suicide Watch


CAVE IN  Until Your Heart Stops (REISSUE - TRI-COLOR SPLATTER VINYL)  4 x LP BOXSET   (Relapse)   90.00
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Track Samples:
Sample : Halo Of Flies
Sample : Moral Eclipse
Sample : The End Of Our Rope Is A Noose
Sample : The End Of Our Rope Is A Noose (Demo)
Sample : Mr. Co-Dexterity (4-Track Demo)
Sample : Ebola (God City Demo)
Sample : N.I.B. - Steve Lead Vox (God City Demo)


CELTIC FROST  To Mega Therion (Deluxe Reissue)  CD DIGIBOOK   (Noise)   14.99
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BOTCH  061502  2 x LP   (Hydra Head)   24.99
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      Gorgeous new vinyl edition of Botch's last live performance, previously released as part of the band's 061502 DVD and CD set. Re-mastered for vinyl, these two LPs come in printed inner-sleeves, housed inside of a heavyweight case-wrapped gatefold jacket, and issued in a limited edition of two thousand copies. This still stands as one of the most ferocious live performances I've seen documented on video, and that energy bleeds through every second of the recorded audio from this concert. Here's the old review of the live material from the CD release:

      For all of us that couldn't cough up the plane tickets to Seattle, Hydra Head has finally delivered this document of that last show from 2002. A mighty math-metal destruction machine, Botch beamed massively heavy yet super melodic and intricate jams, every one of their songs a devastatingly epic assault of chugging, confounding riffage, weird effects, earth shaking bass, complex angular rhythms n' dizzying time signatures, and monstrous roaring vocals. One of the most important and influential bands of the 90's underground heavy music scene, Botch sent hardcore spiraling off into a whole 'nother direction. This captures their final performance on June 15th, 2002 at the Showbox in Seattle, Washington. The footage is amazing, capturing the incredible energy of the band and an entirely appreciative crowd that flip out throughout the entire length of the show...their explosive, emotional set runs through pretty much all of their crucial stuff: "St. Mathew Returns To The Womb", "C. Thomas Howell As The "Soul Man"", "John Woo", "Japam", "Oma", "Frequency Ass Bandit", "Thank God For The Worker Bees", "Framce", "Third Part In A Tragedy", the cover of "Rock Lobster", "Transitions From Persona To Object", "To Our Friends In The Great White North", "Hutton's Great Heat Engine", and "Man The Ramparts". Obviously, this is something that any Botch fans aren't going to want to miss, but this should also be mandatory viewing for anybody that wants to bear witness to one of the most progressive, influential hardcore bands ever, who pretty much changed the shape of "math-metal" as we know it.



KULTURA KURENIJA (SMOKING CULTURE)  Cold Wires / Cement  CD   (Maa Productions)   12.98
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AUROCH  Mute Books  CD   (Profound Lore)   13.98
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Track Samples:
Sample : Tipharethagirion
Sample : Say Nothing
Sample : Cup Of Hemlock


BAND, RICHARD  Ghoulies (Original Soundtrack)  LP + 7"   (We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want)   36.99
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Track Samples:
Sample : Bring Forth The Ghoulies
Sample : First Incantation
Sample : Main Titles


CAMERON, JOHN  Psychomania  LP   (Trunk Records)   26.98
Psychomania IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

      Finally back in print on vinyl, just in time for the brand-new deluxe Blu-ray/DVD reissue that's coming out through Arrow Video.

      Mostly known for reissues of deep-cut jazz/psych obscurities, British label Trunk Records had put out a couple of horror-related albums that I'd been wanting to get in stock for years, but which had gone out of print. One was the Dawn Of The Dead Unreleased Soundtrack Music compilation that features the obscure Music De Wolfe library pieces from Romero's apocalyptic zombie epic, and this, the sublimely sinister and psychedelic long-lost John Cameron soundtrack to cult classic British occult biker film Psychomania. In the hazy post-Hammer landscape of 1970's-era British horror cinema, Psychomania has always stuck out with its deranged tale of a hell-raising, devil-worshipping biker gang calling themselves "The Living Dead", and their ill-fated bid for immortality via toad-fueled necromancy and crazed supermarket carnage. It's a hoot, with numerous memorable scenes of nutty biker action, half-baked occultism, and some fantastic dialogue; no wonder it's been heavily referenced by fans of British black magic schlock like Electric Wizard and Satans Satyrs.

      Despite the film's cult following in horror/occult cinema circles, Cameron's Psychomania score was apparently never released in its entirity, with the only official release of music from the film being the two-song Witch Hunt / Living Dead 7" that came out in 1973, featuring two key themes from the film performed by Cameron's ad hoc psych outfit Frog that was formed specifically for the score. That original 7" alone has commanded some hefty prices on the collectors market, so it was great to have the entire score finally released by Trunk around a decade ago. Now back in print, we're getting this disc on our shelves for the first time, and get to revisit this bizarre soundtrack and its terrific low-fi psychedelic sleaze.

      For Psychomania, Cameron enlisted a group of British jazz musicians (going by the aforementioned "Frog" name) to perform his macabre arrangements, performing a set of tracks that craft an uncanny, hallucinatory atmosphere that kick in like good blotter, a killer mix of fuzz-encrusted psych and avant-garde gothic creep. The wah-fueled evil psych that plays over the opening "Psychomania Front Titles" combines airy flute with some seriously skuzzy funk bass and an infectious shuffling groove, producing some cool sinister instrumental rock; from there Cameron continues to exude a druggy, delirious atmosphere that goes well with the hell-raising, devil worshipping insanity on the screen, moving from spooky gothic organ and mesmeric krautrock grooves to minimal drones and echoplex-drenched piano, dropping in some raunchy garage-rock numbers like "Motorcycle Mayhem", belting out wailing female choruses and whirling gusts of witchy weirdness, and there's even some menacing keyboard-streaked tracks of hypnotic progginess that recalls the likes of Goblin. Some of the more memorable dialogue from the film is scattered among the musical tracks, and there are some lighter moments amongst all of the macabre fuzz-guitar jams, like the eerie woodwinds and gently plucked strings that form the nocturnal balladry of "Abby's Nightmare", and the unmistakably 70's-era folk rock that shows up on "Riding Free", the only track on the album that features actual singing. Some of the tracks feature brief cues that run only a few seconds in length, but there's plenty of longer tracks as well to sink your teeth into.

     The whole score was re-mastered for this release, but as label boss Johnny Trunk discusses in his liner notes, it was a tough job due to the deterioration of the original studio reels; that produces a bit of murk in the sound quality, but that's fine by me. It's still a highly listenable release that fans of the film should be greatly pleased with. The back of the sleeve features liner notes from composer Cameron, Trunk and someone named Jogoku, with Cameron describing how he utilized a variety of experimental recording techniques to create his unearthly sounds, from prepared piano noises to processed vibraphones and Hammond organs that he ran through a bank of effects units. A real blast, still one of the kookiest horror scores of the era, highly recommended for fans of vintage psych-creep and sinister experimental weirdness.


Track Samples:
Sample : CAMERON, JOHN-Psychomania
Sample : CAMERON, JOHN-Psychomania
Sample : CAMERON, JOHN-Psychomania
Sample : CAMERON, JOHN-Psychomania


VARIOUS ARTISTS  Epicurean Escapism III  CD + DVD   (The Epicurean)   26.98
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SIMONETTI, CLAUDIO  Demons (OST - PURPLE MARBLE EDITION)  LP   (Rustblade)   34.00
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Available on LP (limited to six hundred sixty-six hand-numbered copies on blue vinyl), digipack CD, and a deluxe steelbox set.

"They will make cemeteries their cathedrals, and the cities will be your tomb..." Thus goes the prophetic warning that heralds the onslaught of razor-taloned, pus-spewing 80's horror insanity that is Lamberto Bava's Demoni, or Demons as it was titled for the American release. Outside of his work with the legendary prog rock outfit Goblin, my favorite solo score from keyboardist Claudio Simonetti has always been his nutzoid work for this gore classic. One of the decade's most infamous splat attacks, Demons was a high-energy assault upon your eyeballs, setting loose an army of flesh-ripping, pus-spewing horrors upon the helpless patrons of a sinister Berlin movie theatre, and setting the ensuing carnage to an insane soundtrack that combined Simonetti's bombastic score with a raucous heavy metal playlist that included songs from Motley Crue, Saxon and Billy Idol. For his part, Simonetti used the sort of spiraling gothic synthesizers that marked his work in Goblin, but combined them with hammering drum machine rhythms and harsh, staccato orchestral stabs for something that at times almost sounds like a cross between Goblin and the brutalist electro-funk of Tackhead. While this killer score was finally released in full via a 2003 CD on label Deep Red, it's only now that Simonetti's Demons is being issued on vinyl as a standalone score as a 30th anniversary reissue, along with brand new, definitive CD editions that contain never before released material.

And man, I love every aspect of this score, it's maniacal Euro-disco throb and pounding mid-80s electro and orchestral sounds that fuels so many of these pieces, funky and ferocious and hallucinatory all at once. The propulsive murderous hypno-rock of "Killing" that Simonetti fleshes out with a wicked ascending string arrangement that turns it into one of the best action pieces I've ever heard, and the bizarre tribal rhythms and staccato drum machines that power the weird Gothic electro-funk of the main "Demon" theme, with it's weird sampled vocal noises and an ass-shaking synth riff make another memorable piece. Elsewhere, he incorporates screaming heavy metal guitar solos with pulsating synth, or stretches of jazzy organ and soulful female vocals that subtly mutate that signature funky theme; some of this is very experimental, like the unsettling combination of industrial rhythms and dissonant orchestral samples on "Cruel Demon", or the swirling cyclical synthdrones of "Threat" that transform into a quick blast of discordant strings; glitchy melodic fragments are layered over deep Moog drones, and backwards-masked noises and strange edits that produce a disturbing effect. This score is so catchy that it works perfectly even completely separated from the gross visuals of Bava's cinematic nightmare; it's all very deliciously 80's, and there's definitely a few moments on here that are very reminiscent of Simonetti's later Goblin work from the 80s, but much of it resembles a more gothic take on the industrial funk of Tackhead, which may look weird on paper but sounds goddamn phenomenal to my ears. An excellent reissue of one of my favorite film scores of all time, a classic blast of 80's Italian hyper-splatter that I love so much I had to pick up every single version for my own collection.

The LP and CD versions of this reissue feature a bunch of bonus material, including "Demon's Lounge", an awesomely jazzy version of the film's main theme complete with Rhodes piano and soulful female singing; demo versions of several of the main tracks; an eerie demo version of the main theme played on electric piano; a KILLER breakbeat version of the main theme from Simonetti's Simonetti Horror Project album from 1990; and it' capped off with a seriously bizarre (and surprisingly burly) heavy metal version of "Demon" performed by Simonetti's prog-metal outfit Daemonia in LA in 2002. And for the disc, there are also a couple of Quicktime videos included on the CD version of 1985 Italian TV commercials for the original Demoni soundtrack release that RULE, along with some additional photo galleries.

In addition, the super-limited deluxe boxset has that digipack CD as well as a bonus CD that features the entire score remixed and radically altered by the likes of Ohgr (Skinny Puppy), Cervello Elettronico, Simulakrum Lab, The Devil And The Universe, :Bahntier//, Needle Sharing and Leather Strip, as well as additional tracks from Fangoria scribe and electronic musician Chris Alexander and Creature From The Black, and also incudes a metal Demons badge, a full color art insert, and a postcard reproduction of the Metropol ticket seen in the film, all housed in a hinged tin box and limited to four hundred ninety-nine copies.



ASTHAROTH  Gloomy Experiments + Demos  2 x CD   (Dark Symphonies)   13.99
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I still have copies of the Polish import Metal Mind reissue that just features the album itself along with eight bonus tracks taken from the demos, and is beautifully packaged in a glossy digipak. The more recent Dark Symphonies reissue expands upon that with jewel case packaging and a 20 page booklet loaded with new liner notes, album and recording info, pics, and complete lyrics, but even more importantly, a second disc that is packed with demo, studio, and live material, much of which has never been previously released. Very nicely done. I myself had to upgrade to this one just because of the whopping 65 minutes of additional recorded material on a second disc.

Here's my older review of the music from the Metal Mind reissue :

Another older Metal Mind reissue that I'm just now discovering, Astharoth's 1990 debut Gloomy Experiments is a lesser-known prog-thrash obscurity from this Polish outfit that I just recently discovered after reading about them on some "weird thrash" list someone had posted online. Being someone who can never get enough oddball thrash, I went looking for this album after seeing them described as an unusual Voivod-influenced outfit, and Experiments turned out to be a great discovery. This stuff is a highly confusional brand of progressive thrash metal, pretty wonky stuff actually, and additionally stands out for being one of the few European thrash outfits of the time to have a female lead guitarist (Dorota Homme), who also contributes vocally for a really unique and eclectic style.

These guys were obviously drawing heavily upon both the otherworldly, spaced out dissonance of Voivod and the pummeling Teutonic thrash of bands like Kreator and Destruction with rampaging tempos and ferocious buzzsaw riffage, but that was then filtered through a quirky, somewhat spaced-out vision that rendered this into something much more unique. The guitars have a lush, textural feel, the vocals are a youthful snarl that matches the energy of the music, with introspective lyrics, and the songs shift between that furious thrash metal, strange almost jazzy guitar explosions, wild shredding, groovier rocking moments, some obvious post-punk influences, icy dissonant chords, all wound together into a set of nine sprawling, elaborately laid out songs that are delivered with an energetic, not too polished delivery. Intricate and brainy metal with lots of surrealistic atmosphere. Can't say I've heard anything quite like this album. The experimental, ambitious aspects make this something that fans of classic prog-thrash a la Coroner, Watchtower, Voivod, Mekong Delta and the like would want to check out, but Astharoth are much more prone to slipping out of their thorny thrash into sequences of chorus-drenched progginess that leads their album into unexpected directions. While Astharoth's Gloomy Experiments aren't essential if you're into progressive / weirdo thrash metal, their stuff is certainly interesting if you're into the weirder fringes of late 80s/early 90s thrash metal. This reissue pairs the album up with an additional seven bonus tracks that were recorded after the band relocated to the US in the early 90s, much of which gets into even more Voivodian territory.

OK, so on to the second disc that comes with the Dark Symphonies reissue. This one is awesome, with loads of unique, non-album material. You get a total of fourteen tracks, remastered versions of every demo the band ever did. This stuff varies in quality both in terms of songwriting, performance, and recording quality, but it's all crucial listening if you are a fan. I love the chronological track order, tracing their music from the early, chaotic roots through to the more sophisticated prog-thrash of their album-era material. The songs that feature the combination of female and male lead vocals are really great, too: "Wisdom Of The Blind" sounds as much influenced by the punchy post-punk of Killing Joke and Ghost Dance as it is by Voivod, Watchtower and Testament. Actually, in some ways this band feels like it shares more genetic material with Anacrusis than anyone else I can think of. The non-album songs prove to be pretty intriguing, with some of this demo material going even deeper into prog-rock territory than they did on Experiments. You get the 1991 Wisdom Of The Blind demo tape ("Wisdom Of The Blind", "Misplaced Senses", "Nameless"), the 1992 Limits demo tape ("Limits", "Egos Of Myself", "Accused"), the 1994 Cycles Of The Sphere demo tape ("Cycles Of The Sphere", "Denial"), and the 1990 Self-Hatred demo tape ("Toll Of Hypocrisy", "Self-Hatred", "Gloomy Experiments", "Circles Of Confusion"). There is also a previously unreleased song, "House Of Frustration", and a live track ("Drunk Hate ") that appeared on the Metalmania '89 compilation that came out on the obscure Polish cassette label Atomica.



DEAD NEANDERTHALS  Blood Rite  CASSETTE   (Utech)   9.98
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COWS  Daddy Has A Tail  CD   (Amphetamine Reptile)   14.98
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Track Samples:
Sample : Sugar
Sample : Chow
Sample : Shaking


VOIVOD  Rrroooaaarrr (Reissue)  LP   (Noise)   23.00
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CATATONIC EXISTENCE  Elect Me God, And I'll Kill You All  CD   (Epic Recordings)   16.98
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As big a fan as I am of weird, messed-up industrial metal, I'd never heard of this obscure California outfit until now. Apparently best known for being a side-project from one of the guys in the notorious grindcore outfit Meatshits, Catatonic Existence popped up briefly in the mid 90s, releasing a split CD and a seperate split 7" with the aforementioned 'Shits, and the two song I'll Kill You All! 7" from 1994, before disappearing back into the boiling black sewer from which they emerged. The band was essentially a one-man effort from Guy Mulidor, with some additional contributions from Meatshits founder Robert Deathrage on vocals, sampling and keyboards, but it's quite different from the other stuff that these guys were doing. It's just as nihilistic and misanthropic, sure, but the music is a bizarre sort of primitive, industrialized electro-metal, not quite the Godflesh worhip that you might expect (although they are cwertainly an influence on this stuff). No, this is much weirder and much more fucked-up. Pounding double-bass drum machine rhythms and machinelike programmed pummel drill through songs like "Guy Told Me To" and "The Last Temptation", tinny thrash riffs buried in the mix beneath Mulidor's monstrous guttural gorilla-grunts, while the bass guitar and synths often break into these odd funk parts, even breaking out some actual slap-bass moves in some of the weirder moments. Also, this stuff us fucking loaded with samples, with long film samples from early 90s movies like Judgement Night and Needful Things as well as fragments of news reports and various other movies are strewn throughout the songs, and there are big chunks of this stuff when the metallic elements drop out and it turns into a demented kind of EBM, some fucked-up, meth-addled take on Front 242. It's not for all tastes, I can tell you that. The awkward song structures, the bizarre funk bass, the squelchy Wax Trax synths and weird bossa nova percussion breaks, the overload of samples and the willfully anti-human attitude, all turns this into a kind of outsider mecha-metal that manages to transcend being just another Godflesh clone. It's weirdly infectious, especially if you've got a taste for weirdo electro-sludge like Black Mayonnaise and stuff in that general vein.



BOHREN & DER CLUB OF GORE  Geisterfaust  CD   (PIAS Recordings)   16.98
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FIRE  Issue 2  MAGAZINE   (Fire)   14.98
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LUSITANIA  self-titled  LP   (King Of The Monsters)   10.98
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HEROINE SHEIKS, THE  The New York Post-Punk / Noise Series: VOL II  DVD   (Robellion)   14.99
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CYBER-PSYCHOS A.O.D.  Issue 4  MAGAZINE   (CyberPsychos AOD Publishing)   6.00
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SKIN CRIME  Recycled Music Series  CASSETTE   (RRRecords)   4.98
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Track Samples:
Sample : Recycled (1)
Sample : Recycled (2)
Sample : Recycled (3)


GREAT KAT, THE  Beethoven Shreds  CD   (TPR Music)   10.99
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EXECUTIONERS MASK  Winterlong  LP   (Profound Lore)   24.00
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OBERON  Techen Metal  LP   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)   19.99
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Man, if there's a record that I've picked up recently that just screams "outsider metal", it's this collection of recordings from an obscure Bulgarian band called Oberon. Nuclear War Now put this out a little while back, gathering together the band's 1993 Liquid Metal, all of their recorded material glued together with vomit, over-the-top blasphemy, and a totally batshit approach to songwriting and atmopshere. This stuff is nuts. Just from the sleeve art and the structure of the first song "Devil's children", it is obvious that these guys had been spendinh an inordinate amount of their free time listening and worashipping the jmusic of OG Satanic rippers Venom, working to channel that primitive black thrash sound and hellish imagery into their own frantic vision. Some of the classic early NWOBHM stuff clearly had an effect on them as well, as certain elements of that sound crop up here and there on songs like " Hell Awaits You". So far, so good, so slaytanic. But as you progress through these fourteen songs, something starts to sound increasingly wrong and warped, you realize that the guitar and bass sound inordinaztely blown-out and overmodulated, like they are being lined in directly to the recording deck. And then "Guts Of Death" comes on and it's this freaking whacked-out major key prog-punk type thing mixed with some more sloppy thrash / speed metal , screaming guitar solos that sound like they could have tumbled off an errant Molly Hatchet record, and those gross gurgling shrieks that occupy just about every corner of this record. By this point, I'm in love - within four songs, the dudes in Oberon have completely electrocuted my brain.

And it's on from there to pretty instrumental guitar arpeggios blossoming into insane necrotic thrash that constantly sounds on the verge of falling apart, then jumping into these vicious mid-tempo mosh breaks, more bursts of freakazoid heavy metal shredding and barbaric blasting drums, the songs starting and stopping in often seemingly arbitrary points. With all this going on, it all sounds legit menacing too, even with those bizarre almost poppy parts that spring up every few songs. At it's core, this is primitive Venom worship but filtered through the depraved minds of these young guys, that underlying lo-fi blackthrash tearing through the bulk of the collection. It's just so undeniably weird, I mean really weird, delivered through a mixture of energetic but inexperienced instrumental prowess and a coompleteky zonked-out feel for how to write a song. The results are glorious. Now that I think about, it dawned on me that I originally learned about these guys after reading about 'em on the ever-awesome "Noise Metal" list put together by one "MarsHottentot"' on the RateYourMusic.com site, a list that's at this piint like some kind of lost biblical text for me , a kind of "Nurse with Wound list" for addicts of the most berserk, low-fidelity fringes of underground metal over the decades. It's crucial, and these guys belong on it. "Deceiver" is an insane blast of noisecore-esque ultra-chaos with crazed widdly shreddin, yet another wild diversion alongside the accidental prog bits, mutated formless thrash, brain-damaged erratic dirge workouts, long bouts of freeform screaming and gibberish, moments where it sounds like the whole band is trying to perform in the midst of a 7.0 earthquake; shit goes completely mental on the song "Liquid Metal", where it sounds like the guitarist is attempting to play the main riff from Metallica's "Seek & Destroy" while everything else is this fucked-up, sludgy lurching mess that feels like a largely improvised goon-punk freakout a la Kilslug or something. Looking at the notes , it states that this berserk chaos comes from the band' s "Nine Circles Of Hell" rehearsal tape recorded in March '93 in a local community center - imagine, if you will, a four-track collision of Witching Metal-era Sodom , Drunks With Guns, and Hanatarash. These recordings feel a bit like that. This stuff has apparently never been previously released, and it is brain-glazingly nuts. I'm talking about a Shaggs-like approach to speed/thrash, they've got the energy and aggression in spades, but the delivery comes out completely unique and disconnected, and thus inadvertantly brilliant. At least for me. Nuclear War Now mentions the far-away but like-minded strangeness of the Colombian "ultra metal" likes of Blasfemia, Parabellum, and Reencarnación, and that's pretty accurate as far as letting you know just how fucked up and psychotic Oberon's music is. Not for those seeking sanity in their metal, for sure. One of the best things I've experienced lately, I can tell you that.


Track Samples:
Sample : ��5F0 =0 4O2>;0
Sample : ��"5G5= <5B0;
Sample : ��'8AB8;8I5


SUNLESS  Ylem  LP   (Willowtip)   24.99
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CHOP SHOP  Recycled Music Series  CASSETTE   (RRRecords)   4.99
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Track Samples:
Sample : Recycled (1)
Sample : Recycled (2)
Sample : Recycled (3)


MORBID OPERA  self-titled  CASSETTE   (TPOS)   6.99
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Track Samples:
Sample : Love Is Death
Sample : Sledgehammer
Sample : War Dream


TIR  Mountains  CDR   (Elegy Records)   9.99
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HIGH NOON KAHUNA  Killing Spree  CASSETTE   (Crucial Blast)   10.00
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As of early 2023, the band High Noon Kahuna is firmly in my personal list of my three best-loved, absolutely favorite local bands. I could be accused of a certain amount of bias, seeing as how I've been friends with some of the members of this band for over thirty years. But it's really about how strongly this band scratches my itch for bitchin' noise rock. And these guys dig at it like it's 1994. A full-on POWER trio, the Kahuna crew include dudes who have done time in some local institutions like seminal Maryland doom metal outfit Internal Void and mangy math-rockers Admiral Browning, as well as lesser-known but no less bangin' operations like the electronic-damaged slowcore duo Black Blizzard and the cult art-punks Vox Populi from West Virginia. So there's a lot of experience being funneled into this band.

The American post-punk vibe reverberates beneath everything these guys do, but that cymatic force arranges their pieces into new and energetic shapes. When thinking about how to describe High Noon Kahuna, the best I have been able to come up with is asking you to imagine the following brew: merge the raucous, ascerbic wit and muscular stage presence of God Bullies with a heavy smattering of early Sonic Youth, back when that latter band was still in the same zip-code as the NYC noise-skuzz crowd; add to that already-pungent mix a huge dose of bulldozing Melvins-level drone-crush that enters zones of eruptive metallic crunch just when you're not expecting it, and a chronically wicked guitar attack that is touched (in the head) by the cumulative energies of Dead Kennedys's East Bay Ray, vintage O.G. surf licks a la Dick Dale and Eddie Bertrand, and just a dank whiff of second wave black metal. All at once.

Since they've started hitting the live circuit en force, the "surfy" aspect seems to be something that some people have focused on, but that's just one strand of the DNA; High Noon Kahuna are more brooding, soulful, and battering-ram heavy than you might otherwise guess, with a rhythm section ready to drive you into the dirt like a rusted nail. Take it from me, these guys rule. If it was indeed 1994, this band would have already been added to the Amphetamine Reptile roster in a heartbeat. Bit it's not, and they aren't, so we've got the goods. Come and see. Come and hear. The band self-released their debut full-legth album Killing Spree earlier in 2022, but with some brief touring on their horizon and my ongoing lust for analog, they've partnered up with Crucial Blast to deliver this audio cassette edition of the album. Not just that, but an entire half-hour-plus mass of sound on the b-side called "Foreshadowing Vol. I", a slammin' sound-collage of songs-to-be, tape-noise antics, crushing riff-workouts, and nascent hooks that can only be heard by playing the flipside of this particular little infernal machine.

This limited-edition cassette is released in a run of one hundred copies, with full color tape art on black shells.


Track Samples:
Sample : Sand Storm
Sample : Black Lodge
Sample : Parachute


LORD KAOS  Thorns Of Impurity  CD   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)   13.99
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ALLIN, GG  Freaks, Faggots, Drunks & Junkies  LP   (Aware-One Records)   16.99
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Now also available in a limited-edition 2022 "shit mix” colored vinyl edition for all of you distinguished aesthetes out there.

In 2016 year of our lord, it's almost unfathomable that this rare beast could have once stalked the face of the earth. But when I need a real social palette cleanser, I turn to the late 80s GG Allin stuff. And this motherfucker is top of the pile, one of the filth-king's rattiest and nastiest albums. The fifth album from Allin and originally released on Gerard Cosloy's Homestead Records, Freaks captures the beast during my favorite period of his career: with this particular expression of his monstrous Id, Allin enlisted the talents of Bulge, who otherwise belched out a couple of rippin' thrashcore releases on Ax/ction and Fudgeworthy in the early 90s, and who featured members of Gonkulator, Jesus Chrust, and Psycho. Bulge's drummer Charlie Infection had already previously worked with Allin by including the song "I Wanna Suck Your Cunt" on the Welcome To Ax/ction Island compilation. Bulge was a relatively tighter, more "stable" band compared to Allin's previous backing group, so the team-up made sense.

That said, this album is a warzone: a pitch-shifted GG lays down the law with the spoken word intro "My Revenge", then throws us headfirst into a nineteen-song orgy of drug-damaged blues riffs and monstrously fucked-up hardcore punk. His vocals sound totally scorched here, like the man has been swilling gasoline in between vocal takes. "Be My Fuckin Whore"' offers a litany of degradation and misogynistic abuse set to primitive hardcore, with some almost Greg Ginn-level guitar warp going on when it rips into a solo, followed by the thirty-second noisecore-esque blast-chaos of "Suck My Ass It Smells". "Dog Shit" delivers what is possibly my favorite line from the guy, "...Get the fuck outta my bread line...", and that general mean-spirited, ragged hardcore attack makes up the bulk of Freaks.

Other scorchers include sickoid mid-tempo rippers like "Anti Social Masterbator" (sic)and "Last In Line For The Gang Bang" that collectively climb right into your head and won't leave. You've got a nod to David Allan Coe via "Outlaw Scumfuc". And with the messed-up and overtly brain-damaged moments like the lumbering, tuneless skull-beating on "Wild Riding" and "Crash & Burn" , Allin and crew puke up a kind of Flipper / Kilslug / Black Flag-style scum-dirge that's swarming with gruesome guitar skronk, grating atonal synthesizer, go-nowhere sludgepunk riffing, and some of the more unsettling and orgasmic vocals we've heard from Allin. Goddamn awesome stuff. The closer "My Bloody Mutilation" is a drawn-out, industrial nightmare, a fog of clanking, metallic atonality and tortured invective screams, raving madness set to a oily black shimmer of deformed ambience, almost Abruptum-like in it's sheer abject hideousness. But if I had to give you just one reason to pick up this atrocity, it's the song "Die When You Die" (actually itself a sort-of cover of Destroy All Monsters's proto-punk classic "You're Gonna Die" ), a perfectly formed piece of anti-social, anti-human punk rock that has gone on to be covered by countless punk and black metal bands in the decades since. It's one of the greatest Allin songs of all time.

Bottom line is this- fans of fucked-up and demented 80s' hardcore who haven't heard this stuff are missing out. This is hanging out on the most terrible fringes of hardcore. The height of anti-social art-psychosis and chaos-invocation in the latter half of the 1980s. The Freaks album could sit nicely alongside other albums that I would term "outsider hardcore", in spite of some probable pushback from members of the punk scene. But GG and the Bulge beasts were not interested in working within the parameters of the then-current hardcore scene. This is so much more transgressive, more bizarre, more genuinely deranged and incontrovertibly misanthropic, more dissident and self-destroying in every possible way. Allin himself considered this album to be one of the best of his career. A sodomatic , Dionysian immolation rite, pursuing ultimate physical transcendence in a manner not unlike the Aghori sect. And man, nobody ever came close to hustling the way that GG did. It's a sight and sound to behold. Everyone else was performing theater. This was the real deal.



DEAD MEADOW  Force Form Free  LP   (Blues Funeral)   25.99
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Track Samples:
Sample : The Lure of the Next Peak
Sample : To Let the Time Go By
Sample : Force Form Free


PRIMITIVE KNOT  Undying Lands  CD   (Phage Tapes)   10.99
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DISCORDANCE AXIS  The Inalienable Dreamless (Reissue)  CD   (Willowtip)   14.99
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THEOLOGIAN + BLACK SUN  Black Fire Theology  CDR   (Annihilvs)   8.99
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CULTIC  Whip Seduction (EXTRA LARGE)  SHIRT   (Crucial Blast)   20.00
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Released alongside the skull-stomping new Seducer (Expanded Edition) EP, the Whip Seduction shirt features a stunning, brand-new design by Cultic drummer and acclaimed illustrator Rebecca Magar. This design is exclusive to Crucial Blast, and features what could well be my favorite art from Rebecca / Wailing Wizard to date - for real, I'm possessed by an overwhelming impulse to get this tattooed on my person. Perfectly capturing the sleaze, filth, and carnal violence of Cultic's brand of atavistic, dungeon synth-soaked death metal, it's also one of the coolest designs that we've released over here at C-Blast. This is a highly quality three-color print courtesy of our collaborators at Forest Passage Printing, available on black 100% cotton Gildan garments. GET SEDUCED.

SHIPPING THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 9TH, 2024.




VRAJITOR’S TENEBRARIUM  E.N.L.D.  CD   (Avantgarde Music)   18.99
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There are certain things that grab my attention when it comes to discovering new bands and artists. I try to pay attention to several outstanding Youtube channels that post amazing demos, and Bandcamp releases from bands I've never heard of. Sometimes, I'll be searching through Metal-Archives.com for research, and I'll end up chasing some killer obscure act from Slovenia down a deep and twisting rabbit-hole. And when I'm working on Discogs, there's stuff that I see that will reach out and grab me by the throat. I'm obsessive about reading the "Style" line in band and release listings on that site. You never know what you might find.

Like a band described as "Prog Rock, Dungeon Synth, Funk Metal.

Alright, you' got me. And thus I stumbled across a band called Vrajitor’s Tenebrarium, a new (I assume) Finnish band with one member, a guy called Lord Vechi Vrăjitor, aka Juuso Peltola, who also plays in the black metal bands Warmoon Lord and Argenthorns. Avantgarde pouts out a lot of wild stuff (the label name is there for a reason), and when I picked up this debut album, covered in gloomy, wizard's castle-style artwork and beautifully designed in six-panel digipak, I couldn't wait to hear this thing. OK, so the whole "funk metal" tag is clearly someone being cheeky, but what it is, is some of the best Goblin / Italian prog-rock inspired mutation I've ever heard. This bizarre band wears its influences on its flowing, wizard-robe sleeves, but adds on a whole new level of groovy weirdness that's really different from the other Goblin-influenced outfits I listen to.

Kissed by gloriously nostalgic synthesizers, the opener "Et Mors Pallida Venebit" unfurls waves of majestic Tangerine Dream-esque electronics, symphonic grandeur, and huge-sounding church organs, all folded together into this striking keyboard-heavy introduction inhabited by a female vocalist that sounds like she wandered in from the Celtic Frost Into the Pandemonium sessions. A short but killer blast of synth-drenched darkwave then leads into the similarly synth-heavy prog rock of "Rubedo", filled with lush acoustic strings and spooky arpeggios that have an odd Fabio Frizzi vibe even as the metallic power chords and booming percussion kicks in. When this really starts to rock, it's fuckin' awesome. "Rubedo" has this distinctly 80's spook-prog vibe that's unmistakable, conjuring memories of both Frizzi and Goblin, as well as the weird gothic prog of Jacula and Devil Doll. The way this stuff is layered together with the crunchy, metallic guitars and driving backbeat is just spot-on, man. It's really not at all what I was expecting at first; it's the best type of surprise. Heavy, funky, pseudo-Italian goodness, where Vrajitor breathes much power and magic into the eleven songs, laying down infectiously catchy hooks and a hard rock backbone alongside all of his spirited weirdness. Some righteous saxophone shows up on "Black Frog" next to delicious woodwinds in the background, more elegant acoustic strings on "Lucus Horribilem Atque Pestilentem" as it erupts into a kind of Blue Oyster Cult-meets-Goblin ecstasy; the album feels mostly instrumental, although those feminine vocals and some echoing, chant-like voices do pop up throughout the album. The keyboards get even more Claudio Simonetti-esque as it winds through the labyrinth of moody progressive rock, heavy, crunching riffs, and soaring dark melody, but Vrajitor succeeds in giving this its own unique character, nimbly avoiding being another retro-Goblin-influenced outfit and producing a full, sensual piece of music that (despite the obvious influences) stands on its own as an incredible and original slab of occult Italo-prog. Those Tardo Pede In Magian Versus-era Jacula and Antonius Rex influences are every bit as prominent as the other stuff as well , especially whenever Vrajitor lays on that heavy liturgical pipe organ. The sounds of bouzouki (again, shades of Goblin's Suspiria) and clarinet spread through many of the tracks. There's some great experimental atonality in a few tracks, particularly the pair of songs that close the album, "Exorcismus" and "Semper Victimas Vult ", which wrap it all up with Gregorian-style chanting and an air of an arcane ritual ceremony. Stunning production, too. This album fills the air around me, with all of its intricacies and nuances. I also can't get over how much sax action is happening here, too - the winding jazzy convulsions of "Volantes Castrum" are one of the best on E.N.L.D., especially when the horn segues into some straight-up heavy metal guitar heroics, killer shredding matched by the wild onslaught of chamber strings, piano and whooshing synth. And it is indeed very "funky", the drumming performance propelling the songs forward into huge, massive grooves, eve sliding into stuff like the quasi-disco delirium of "Sanitarium Son".

It's the ultimate in 70's style "spook-prog", free of any kind of retro-irony. I can't stop listening to this. If you're as into the aforementioned bands as well as stuff like Daemonia, Anima Morte, Morte Macabre, Giallos Flame, and even older stuff like Sacrifice-era Black Widow and Halloween -era Outsider , this seriously gets the highest possible recommendation from me.



SKULLFLOWER  Ponyland  7" VINYL   (Sympathy For The Record Industry)   10.98
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Track Samples:
Sample : Fake Revolt
Sample : Ponyland


WILT  Cold War Cold World (Zeitgeist Movement Vol. 3)  CD   (Phage Tapes)   9.99
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Sounds from just beneath the surface of a world in the process of annihilation. A pre-causal record of seismic activity and ghost tremors from Bikini Atoll. A catalog of thermonuclear indifference and trace echoes from reconnaissance satellites, pulled from secretive CIA remote viewing sessions. A continuation of a series that stretches back all of the way to the year 2000, with the first volume appearing on the much-missed dark ambient label The Rectrix, followed by the second that showed up on Annihilvs in 2006. That stuff is some of my favorite Wilt material ever. And here we are with the third volume materializing in 2022, sixteen years on from the previous, and James P. Keeler's Wilt expands its vision of mid-to-late twentieth-century clandestine Cold War horror so much further than before, trapping you as the listener in a series of consecutive , probably chronological nightmare recordings a la Kyoto Professor Yukiyasu Kamitani, lasered into this disc and then etched into your neural web. Listening to this immense album, everything around me turns black and burnt. The fourteen pieces of near-infrasonic obliteration audio have titles that can easily lead the listener into the bottomless rabbithole of nuclear chess-play and freakish espionage that gripped our planet in decades past, but me, I'm just soaking in the sound for the moment.

And it is bleak. Wilt is never the artist to go to if you're looking for a brighter outlook, but Jesus, he's painting the air here with irradiated charcoal and radioactive ash. And it is, as usual, perversely beautiful work. Cold War doesn't really lend itself to a track-by-track examination; each piece folds into the next to create a contiguous impression of nuclearized, totally depersonalized doom. It moves through you. Deep, endlessly deep cavernous drift spotted with clanking metallic rhythm, jittery heavy machinery moving slowly amid the shifting of pipe structures and titanic slow-motion construction work. Softly burbling synth-drones floating aimlessly around subterranean field recordings and repeating patterns of electrical waveform. Intensely atmospheric and vast-sounding, shifting and skittering noises and impossibly distant rumbling, with amorphous melodic elements phasing in and out of range. A seamless assemblage of subtle low-frequency reverberations and mechanical sound that blurs together into an oceanic mass. The mix is fantastic, with sounds and sonic events separated as to surround you completely. Immersive. Immense. Intricately crafted dark industrial ambience that works with a combo of performance pieces and found sounds, which per the album notes was put together inside two abandoned silos. It feels like you're right in there with 'em. Tape noise manipulations, rattling objects, the subliminal hum of short wave radio sound and fluorescent lighting fixtures. Bits of an actual drum kit transformed into tectonic drift generators. Circuit-bent electronics and Casio synthesizers and samplers chained together into a huge, breathing presence. Some parts of Cold War lull you into a dull haze, sprawling Lustmordian vapors buffeting your senses from every direction, and then suddenly you're sucked into an intake vent with ominous grinding noises, thick electrically-charged energy fields, ice-cold artificial tones that decompose before you, shattered mainframe computer systems gargling out indecipherable code, hypnotic loops of human panic and terror in anticipation of thermonuclear death as the ICBMs prepare for launch, and great flowing currents of blackened sine-wave nerve abuse, bursts of bizarre choral textures, stacked together into something that pushes you into increasingly oppressive, depressing, almost suffocating states of suspension. Gusts of fouled, toxic breath. Ash swirling around shadows burnt into the floor. Crushing isolationist heaviness. Crushing hopelessness. Nothing here has been touched by the sun.

Phage mentions that this experience is considered "Post war cold electronics". I completely agree. One of Keeler's best.



INCANTATION  Tricennial Of Blasphemy (GOLD EDITION)  3 x LP   (Relapse)   39.99
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ISIS  Oceanic: Remixes / Reinterpretations  2 x LP   (Hydra Head)   23.99
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SLAYER  Issue X (DELUXE HARDCOVER)  BOOK   (Bazillion Points)   14.98
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CHRISTIAN DEATH  Only Theatre Of Pain: 40th Anniversary Edition BOXSET  2 x LP + BOOK BOXSET   (Cult Epics)   130.00
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Holy moley! I've been getting all kinds of killer boxe sets lately, but this recent collector's edition set for Only Theatre Of Pain goes above and beyond. Especially since it's all documenting and showcasing a single album. Granted, that album is one my favorite of all time, and an incredibly influential piece of early deathrock that would influence all manner of bands, not the least of which is Celtic Frost. I mean, this is it, the definitive reissue of Christian Death's pioneering debut, the 40th anniversary edition, packed with all of the music, extras, and sledgehammer of a coffee table book. If you're a fan of Theatre, it's the ultimate.

Here's my old rundown on the album proper:

Considered by most to be the very first American death rock album that would be highly influential on the goth sound that would develop through the 80s, Christian Death's Only Theatre Of Pain is a classic of dark, blasphemous punk that has had a significant impact on so much of the music that I listen to and that I carry here at C-Blast. It's hard to imagine black metal taking form the way it did if Christian Death had never infected the underground punk scene with their subversive anti-Christian imagery, their fascination with death and the occult, and the perpetually dark atmosphere and confrontational attitude that exudes from Only Theatre Of Pain, and the influence of this album on bands as diverse as Sixx, Deathcharge, Nuit Noire and Soror Dolorosa is unmistakable.

Released in 1982, this death punk masterpiece is presented with new artwork and layout as well as the addition of bonus tracks, and it's essential for anyone into the darkest strains of punk and hardcore. Coming out of the Southern California hardcore scene, the band combined Adolescents axeman Rikk Agnew's offbeat guitar playing and the driving rhythm section with bizarre haunted house organ flourishes, tolling bells, and a sickly, dread-filled atmosphere that refuses to let up at any point on the album. But the band's focal point was always their flamboyant front man Rozz Williams, who brought a weird glam influence to Christian Death's morbid punk. His fey whining vocal style was totally unique and perfectly fit the disaffected, negative feel of Christian Death's music, and his bizarre, surrealist lyrics and transgressive visions read like sketches of a nightmare, rife with all kinds of perversion, necrophilia, incest and murder. These themes possess Only Theatre Of Pain from the creepy death obsession of the rocking opener "Cavity - First Communion" to the classic heavy death rock of "Figurative Theatre", "Mysterium Iniquitatis", and "Dream For Mother". There are a couple of slower songs where the band drops into a buzzsaw hardcore dirge ("Spiritual Cramp", "Resurrection - Sixth Communion"), the ghoulish black psychedelia of "Burnt Offerings" and "Prayer", and the serpentine, Middle Eastern-tinged devil vision of "Stairs - Uncertain Journey". If this album would ever have had a single, though, it probably would have been the song "Romeo's Distress", one of the catchiest songs that Christian Death ever wrote, and it feels like it could have been a huge hit for the band, if only the lyrics weren't so politically incorrect (despite the lyrics being explicitly anti-KKK and anti-religious cruelty, themes that would appear throughout other moments in Rozz's tenure in Christian Death).

This new reissue of Only Theatre Of Pain is presented as a double LP, and features two different batches of bonus material for historical posterity. The C-side contains the entire Deathwish 12", albeit with a slightly different track order than the recent reissue of the EP that came out on Cleopatra. Recorded in 1981, these six songs were the very first recordings from Christian Death before the band signed to Frontier to release Only Theatre Of Pain. Most of this had been exclusive to the Deathwish 12" (later released on vinyl by the French label L'Invitation Au Suicide), save for the song "Dogs" which appeared on the 1981 punk compilation Hell Comes To Your House. But the whole EP rips: the heavy, almost metallic-tinged crunch of title track "Deathwish", the trippy synth-laden black dirge "Dogs", the lysergic howling witch-punk of "Desperate Hell", along with rougher early versions of album tracks "Romeo's Distress", "Spiritual Cramp", and "Cavity" that appeared here for the first time. In addition, the D-side of the set has rare recordings of the songs "Sleepwalk" and "Invocation" (both from a 1982 demo), followed by alternate studio versions of the album tracks "Cavity - First Communion" and "Lord's Prayer". It's about as exhaustive a document of the first four years of Christian Death that you're ever going to encounter.

The box set also has a huge 24" by 24" foldout poster of Colver's iconic photo that also appears on the book cover. And then there's the book itself. This is a monster. Hardback and casewrapped, Christian Death: Only Theatre Of Pain - Photography By Edward Colver is one of the coolest books on the early dark hardcore / deathrock / avant-garde movement in Southern California that I have ever held in my hands. It's colossal, 220 pages in square coffee-table book style presentation, black endpapers with minimalist imagery, an overwhelming pictorial and written history of the band that captures all of their strange morbid magick through 1982. Colver totally threw open the vault doors for this collection. The book features an intimate introduction by longtime William's collaborator Nico B. (Cult Epics), facsimiles of handwritten lyric sheets and band notes, an interview with childhood friend Victoria Gray (2020), an interview with early bandmate Jill Emery (Hole, Mazzy Star, Shadow Project, Super Heroines ) (2021), interviews with Asexuals bandmates Steve Darrow ( Hollywood Rose, Sonic Medusa, Super Heroines )and John Albert (Christian Death), both from 2020. An amazing talk with legendary performance artist Ron Athey, an early lover who formed the legendary industrial outfit Premature Ejaculation with Williams; an extensive interview with photographer Edward Colver, in-depth talks with Christian Death drummer George Belanger, bassist James McGeary and guitarist Rikk Agnew (also of Adolescents), all new. Talks with Frontier Records founder Lisa Fancher. An incredible chapter of gloriously profane photography with the band shot by Colver in the Pomona Cemetery in August 1981. A live Colver photo shoot from Little Theatre in September 1981, the first ever show with Agnew. A set at Cuckoo's Nest in Costa Mesa from October '81. Al's Bar in L.A. on October 20th, '81 (alongside 45 Grave, good lord). Witching hours. Pics from the Whiskey a Go Go, November '81, first show they ever played with 45 Grave (Meat Puppets were on the bill as well - can you imagine?); the funeral wreaths on the stage were stolen from a local cemetery. Cathay de Grande, LA, January 1982. A February '82 show at Godzilla's with Bad Religion and Crucifix. So many of these show chapters feature lengthy liner notes from the band members (especially Rikk Agnew) reminiscing on the experience. The Brave Dog show in LA from December '81 with Nervous Gender. Al's Bar (LA again) on December 26th, '81 with Super Heroines. More live photo sets from the Whiskey and Al's Bat from early 1982. Photos and stories of Williams' bedroom and shrine. Reproductions of the L'Invitation Au Suicide record covers. Pages and pages of pics of handwritten lyrics. A photo of Williams' personal library (!). Plus concert flyers out the wazoo, artwork and photos everywhere, all beautifully reproduced for this volume. And the whole shebang is housed in a deluxe heavyweight case-wrapped slipcase.

This is the bible, man. If you worship at the Theatre like me, or just deathrock in general, this is the Good Book, draped in lace, vivid and virile, smeared in blood and mascara, ,lit cigarettes and threadbare silk, raw and alive. Limited to 300 copies.



RAMLEH  Valediction  CD   (Second Layer)   14.99
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Unfortunately now out-of-print as Second Layer seems to have ceased activities, we did dislodge a handful of copies of this 2009 release from Ramleh that came about just as the group was in a state of re-organization after nearly a decade since thweir last album. Instead of picking up where they left off with the monstrous psychedelic noise-rock / tectonic drone-rock that these guys were flattening everybody with in the 90s, Valedictions regressed all the way back to their early 80s activities, emitting a destructive stream of longform power electronics and extreme noise across this six-part saga.

Valediction is presented in six parts, each one a variation of Mundy and Di Franco's colossal maelstrom generated from synthesizers, electronic effects, and distorted vocals, with bass and guitar appearing infrequently. The vast majority of this is a thunderous blast of psychedelic power electronics, raging multi-tracked vocals that shout and mumble and roar amidst a cacophony of beyond-blown-out distortion, rumbling bass frequencies, searing high-end synth chaos, and what sounds like utterly berserk guitar shredding (but which is primarily created using synth). It's fuckin' extreme, from the trippy cosmic storm and wall-noise power of "I" and the mangled, effects-splattered intensity of "II" to the subsequent skull-blowing blasts of lysergic electronics, violent sweeping frequency shifts, gargantuan distorted drones, torturous amplifier feedback modulations, and commanding shouted voices that dominate the middle of the disc. It feels like a particularly violent throwback from the two artists, updating their earlier sonic assault with a thicker production and inpenetrably grim atmopshere. But then deeper into it you begin to get bulldozed by Di Franco's monstrously distorted ur-riff on the bass, simple lu8mbering two-note dirge crawling beneath the avalanche waves of skree and rumble and hiss and howl, like the titanic gonked-out psychsludge mass of "III", goddamn crushing shit as it builds in size and intensity..."drone-metal" levels of heaviness here and elsewhere on the disc, massive metallic crush buffeteed by plumes of nauseating high-end feedback and manipulated sinewaves and histrionic proclamations from Mundy.

The final track hints at the band's history with heavy-as-hell psych/noise rock, and "VI" stands out as a weird nod towards that period, dropping a grinding two-chord riff and roughly sung (and largely understandeable) vocals into the cyclonic noise , a bludgeoning Stooges-esque hook swamped in shortwave detritus and corrosive distortion and cosmic radiation; after listening to Valediction a few times, I've really fallen in love with this as the closing song, it's warped and memorable, an almost sing-along lyrical hook surfacing for a bit before things go completely nuclear.

It's set up to roll out as a single album-length piece even while tracks dissolve in and out, with a continuous bleak vibe that stretches from begining to end, a pervasive post-apocalyptic dread emitting from all corners, easily overwhelming you with the density of all of their noise blasting skyward

not without a semblance of structure

It's definitely a distinct different beast than their next album Circular Time, where the band would unfold into their hypnotic psych-rock obliteration mode once again, the other side of the coin that is Ramleh, but possessing a dark blotter-chewing immensity and deafening power that sticks out from the rest of their "power electronics" era.


Track Samples:
Sample : Valediction VI
Sample : Valediction III
Sample : Valediction I


MURDEROUS VISION  Times Without Gods  CD   (Live Bait)   12.99
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The newest dose of extremely dark ambient from Murderous Vision. 9 tracks of visionary drift. Stephen Petrus has been a crucial component of the American dark ambient scene for years. This landmark album

resonates with emotional depth, anchored by dynamic shifts between melody and discordance. Softly drifting drones shimmer above subtle low-frequency grinding. Incredible production, evocatively package...a must for fans of dark droneworks and post-industrial ambience.



BELL WITCH  Four Phantoms  CD   (Profound Lore)   13.98
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Back in stock.

Seattle funeral doom duo Bell Witch aren't the first band of this ilk to carry with them shades and echoes of the elegiac slowcore of classic bands like Codeine, but by god their one of the best. A two-piece made up of just drums and six-string bass guitar from members of Samothrace and Sod Hauler, Bell Witch nevertheless succeed in crafting a massive sound on their second album Four Phantoms, which has been getting lots of love from devotees of metallic misery, and for good reason - these four songs (all naturally sprawling out for anywhere from ten to twenty three minutes in length, every one an epic) sprawl out into panoramic sadness, the band expertly welding their blasts of crushing glacial heaviness and crawling, time-stopping tempos to passages of achingly beautiful melody, far prettier and more fragile than what you usually hear out of bands playing stuff this agonizingly slow.

But man, those weary, stentorian riffs that tower over the album are as spiritually pulverizing as you could hope for, slow-motion blooms of rumbling, crashing dirge surrounded by guitar leads that have a similar almost synthlike vibe as Finnish gloomdoom gods Skepticism. The songs often disappear into thick fogbanks of liturgical darkness as the drums melt away and the vocals shift from that monstrous lamentation into plaintive, chantlike tones, and on "Suffocation, A Drowning", the band is joined once again by Erik Moggridge of neofolk outfit Aerial Ruin on vocals, lending his pensive voice to one of the album's more solemn, subdued moments that slowly builds into a titanic key change that gives birth to an awesome gloompop hook buried beneath the speaker-rattling low end and soporific pace. The sound is so harmonically full, I had completely forgotten that there were no fuckin' guitars on this album until well after the album was over. Immense and beautiful in its bleak, ashen majesty, and with more complex songcraft than their previous work, Phantoms is easily one of the best doom albums that's come out so far this year, those melodious, sometimes harmonized vocals giving this a warmth and humanity not often seen in funeral doom, without sacrificing that oppressive, deathly atmosphere and utterly forlorn feeling of existential despair that marks the best funeral doom, a quality that puts this album in league with other masters of the form like Pallbearer and Asunder. Comes in digipack packaging featuring superb impressionistic artwork from Paolo Girardi.


Track Samples:
Sample : BELL WITCH-Four Phantoms
Sample : BELL WITCH-Four Phantoms
Sample : BELL WITCH-Four Phantoms


GRIEF  Dismal  CD   (Fuck Yoga)   14.99
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GRAVESIDESERVICE  Masters In Lunacy (Reissue)  CD   (Church of the Immaculate Deception)   9.99
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CELTIC FROST  To Mega Therion (Deluxe Reissue)  2 x LP   (Noise)   39.99
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COCK E.S.P.  Historia De La Musica Cock  CD   (Little Mafia)   9.98
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Track Samples:
Sample : COCK E.S.P.-Historia De La Musica Cock
Sample : COCK E.S.P.-Historia De La Musica Cock
Sample : COCK E.S.P.-Historia De La Musica Cock
Sample : COCK E.S.P.-Historia De La Musica Cock
Sample : COCK E.S.P.-Historia De La Musica Cock
Sample : COCK E.S.P.-Historia De La Musica Cock
Sample : COCK E.S.P.-Historia De La Musica Cock


MERZBOW  Tauromachine (2023 Reissue)  2 x CD   (Relapse)   14.99
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AUROCH  Mute Books  LP   (Profound Lore)   23.98
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Track Samples:
Sample : Tipharethagirion
Sample : Say Nothing
Sample : Cup Of Hemlock


BAND, RICHARD  Troll (Original Soundtrack)  CD   (We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want)   17.99
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VARIOUS ARTISTS  Leper Creativity: Cyclonopedia Symposium  BOOK (TRADE PAPERBACK)   (Punctum Books)   23.00
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SIMONETTI, CLAUDIO  Vendetta Dal Futuro (Hands Of Steel OST) (SILVER VINYL)  LP   (Rustblade)   33.00
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BLOOD FARMERS  Headless Eyes  LP   (Patac Records)   21.98
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Back in stock. Definitely not in a rush to get their albums out, Headless Eyes is only the second album to come from the New York doom metal outfit Blood Farmers, who have been slogging around since around 1989. The last time we heard these guys, it was their cult 1995 album that came out on the legendary Hellhound Records, the label that was home to some of the best underground doom of the late 80s/early 90s including Saint Vitus, Count Raven and a host of Maryland outfits like The Obsessed, Internal Void, Unorthodox, and Revelation. Blood Farmers stuck out amongst this esteemed company with a dirtier, darker vibe, heavily steeped in the imagery and aesthetics of classic horror and exploitation cinema, which makes since seeing how band leader Dave Szulkin is one of the guys behind Grindhouse Releasing (Cannibal Holocaust, The Beyond, Gone with the Pope). And thanks to their grittier, heavier sound, their music has aged a bit better than many of their peers, devoid of the grungy qualities that some of those early 90s doom metal bands shared. Now featuring former Toxik drummer Tad Leger on the skins, Blood Farmers unleash one hell of a crushing psychdoom onslaught here on Headless Eyes (the title taken from Kent Bateman's 1971 psycho-sexual sleazefest), obviously beholden to the seminal slow-mo metal of Black Sabbath and the later dark heaviness of bands like Saint Vitus and Trouble, but they bury their bilious boogie beneath a thick layer of murk and bone-rattling sludge and grindhouse sleaze. Guitarist Szulkin unleashes a gnarly tone with his menacing, miserable riffs, and singer/bassist Eli Brown flattens everything beneath the lumbering grooves that he carves out alongside Leger's sauropod tempos.

The songs frequently drift into a hazy psychedelia, shifting from the sludgy, sinister doom into languid acid guitar and watery, FX-addled singing that wind through the more subdued moments of songs like the title track, and the band also effectively incorporates fragments of film dialogue and other samples from 60's and 70's era horror films, layering these elements to dramatic effect during some of those trippy passages to lead up to when the band crashes back in with their massive heaviness. They also kick things into faster, more furious form with brief eruptions of garagy, wah-drenched mayhem, and unfurl some killer harmonized leads like that which soars over the spacey darkness of "The Creeper", an entirely instrumental song of eerie psychedelia. Then there's the nocturnal lysergic rush of "Night Of The Sorcerers", a ten minute epic that kicks off with some almost raga-like guitar before shifting into a sinister melody with sweeping synthesizer accompaniment, like some trippy take on 80's style horror soundtrack music filtered through a wicked space rock filter and gobs of monstrous glacial heaviness, dragging their sky-streaking instrumental jam into a punishing groovy. And it ends with a stunning cover of "The Road Leads To Nowhere" from legendary cinematic beast David Hess, which most probably recognize from the score to Wes Craven's notorious early shocker The Last House On The Left; at first it sounds as if the band is going to do a straight acoustic version of the song, but when they all crash in, transforming it into a haunting doom metal epic, it's just fuckin' KILLER. These guys had a lot in common with what was going on down in Maryland during the early 90s, which makes it perfectly natural that Hellhound would have worked with Blood Farmers on their first album. But that early stuff and this new album all deliver a grittier, grislier (not to mention flat out heavier) take on that sound that has aged much better than a lot of traditional doom from that era - listening to the sheer crushing weight of these songs, and it's easy to see why Szulkin was recently tapped to play on the new album from Japanese doomlords Church Of Misery.



COWS  Daddy Has A Tail (YELLOW VINYL)  LP   (Amphetamine Reptile)   19.98
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Track Samples:
Sample : Sugar
Sample : Chow
Sample : Shaking


ELDER  Spires Burn / Release (Magenta / Blue Starburst)  LP   (Armageddon)   17.99
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A new 2017 repress, on magenta and blue starburst vinyl.

Elder's latest slab of swirling downbeat metal follows up their Dead Roots Stirring album with a two-song ascent into more atmospheric territory. Released on vinyl only, the record begins with "Spires Burn", a slow-burning epic with all of the ingredients that make Elder one of the best current doom bands here in the States: those clear, powerful vocals that mesh perfectly with the soaring psychedelic leads and triumphant riffage so imbued with an aura of classic heavy metal; the sudden pitches into seriously-dark Sabbathian creep that the band contrasts with their slightly sunnier, more fist-raising anthemic moments; the swirling space-rock effects that come sweeping over the burning towers and scorched wastelands alluded to in the lyrics; and of course, the absolutely crushing riffage that evokes the meditative bulldozer crush of Sleep. And this song is some of the most rocking stuff I've ever heard from these guys, with some moves into grungy, shoegazy textures toward the end that sort of reminds me of a much heavier Smashing Pumpkins riff.

Then there's the beginning to the second side, where "Release" opens up with an amazing melodic intro that's all cascading clean guitars and dreamy, chiming melody - its goddamn fantastic. This swirling melody works its way into the main part of the song as the whole band locks into this killer Kyuss-esque psych-crush that's equal parts soaring, occult-tinged rock and pulverizing Sabbathian low-end, the guitars spinning out these killer melodic leads later in the song that fall somewhere between Josh Homme and J. Mascis. Elder have never sounded so accessible as they do here, but it's simply based on the strength of the songwriting, definitely a big step up from their debut album. The doom is still in here, its just skillfully contrasted with a dark jangly rock sound that comes together just about perfectly on this record. One of the best new doom releases for 2012 alongside the new Pallbearer album.



VOIVOD  Forgotten In Space  5 x CD   (Noise)   51.00
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BOHREN & DER CLUB OF GORE  Geisterfaust  2 x LP   (PIAS Recordings)   28.98
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FIRE  Issue 3  MAGAZINE   (Fire)   14.98
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NOISE  Demo Tapes 1991-1995  LP   (SPHC)   13.98
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FIVE DOLLAR PRIEST  The New York Post-Punk / Noise Series: VOL III  DVD   (Robellion)   14.99
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CYBER-PSYCHOS A.O.D.  Issue 5  MAGAZINE   (CyberPsychos AOD Publishing)   6.00
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ZONAL  Wrecked  CD   (Relapse)   12.98
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GREAT KAT, THE  Extreme Guitar Shred  DVD   (TPR Music)   11.99
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FUDGE TUNNEL  The Complicated Futility Of Ignorance  CASSETTE   (Earache)   8.99
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ADYTUM / DARKNESS ENSHROUDED THE MIST  The Realm Of Rats And Pestilence  7" VINYL   (Larval Productions)   6.50
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Seemingly now-dormant Larval Productions is just a stone's throw down the road from me, but I had no idea about the label until it cranked out that utterly psychedelic bestial brain-blurr from Jyotiṣavedāṅga in 2018. Then I was hooked. I got my hands on everything I could, including this meeting between two of the UK and Dutch black metal underground's more deliberately obscure outfits, issued in a limited run of two hundred. It kills. The fetid glue that seems to pull this split together is that both bands would appear to share a reverence for the low-fi, fucked-up, anti-human aesthetics of Les Légions Noires scene outta France, and I'm always game for some LLN appreciation. With two songs from each band, The Realm Of Rats And Pestilence spills out of the speakers like a pile of offal and ancient grave dirt.

Sounding freshly unearthed, Adytum is pure raw black metal primitivism, spitting out "Beneath The Ruins" and "Pestilence" in wonderfully harsh and stumbling bursts of lopsided aggression and shrieking hatefulness. I love this band. Simple, back-and-forth punk-style drumming moves at loping tempos while the guitar is throttled into a heap of broken riffs, off-kilter melodies, weird stops and starts - oh man, and it's so bathed in hiss and room ambience that it feels like I'm right there in the crypt (or practice space, or whatever). Borderline "outsider" black metal, played with unabashed degenerate glee, the reverb-cloaked howls spewing visions of death-worship and curses and plagues, everything shifting between that hammering punk-like barbarism and the weirder, off-time chugging riffs and melodies. And then there's that total hard rockin' guitar solo stealing through the night at the end of "Pestilence"? It's legit shit, and hits the same nerve spot for me as do bands like Xeukatre, Vetala, early Black Cilice, and the Legion Blotan at large.

Similarly gonked-out are Darkness Enshrouded The Mist, a Dutch one-man band (I think) that hammers you with a slower, more deliberate strain of black metal, still on the stripped-down and primitive side, with mid-tempo minor-key riffs blended with subtle dissonance, but like their vinyl-mates in Adytum, there are these parts in "A Realm Of Rats" and "Blood & Decay" where the musicality starts to fray at the edges, the riffs coming out slightly awkward, which for me just adds to the clandestine vibe of this stuff. With that first siong, it's nearly as punk-warped as Adytum, rooted in an identifiable early 90's mode; however, that second song makes a hard left into spooksville, "Decay" immediately floating up in a wave of ectoplasmic murk, everything melting at the edges ass this blurry, bleary blackened noise-drone rides out the rest of the EP, barely obscuring the voices of worship that drift beneath the surface - teasing at something almost Moevot-esque as it eases into distant silence...

Dig in.


Track Samples:
Sample : A Realm Of Rats
Sample : A Realm Of Rats


SUNLESS  Ylem  CASSETTE   (Willowtip)   11.99
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CROWLEY, ALEISTER  Poems And Invocations  CASSETTE   (TPOS)   7.99
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There have been a gajillion different versions of the collected wax cylinder recordings and acetates of the Great Beast (purportedly recorded between 1910 and 1914) since the 1970s that originally were recorded all the way back in 1920 as The Great Beast Speaks. These editions really started popping up on underground industrial/occult labels in the 1980s cassette culture, with versions put together by Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth and Incubator, and the oft-sourced LP edition on Goetia from 1986 (titled The Hastings Archives / The World As Power) being the first real complete vinyl release of these recordings (it was soon followed by another "bootleg" LP simply titled Aleister Crowley which included liner notes from Current 93's David Tibet - I've been looking for just a facsimile of those for years). And the terrific weirdo-culture label TPOS jumped into the fray as well, producing this cassette version of Crowley's famed spoken-word recordings in 1990 that has remained in print ever since, as far as i can tell. The specific track list and order on Poems And Invocations is exactly the same as the Goetia LP, so I suspect that these recordings were pulled from there, especially since the sound quality on Invocations is better than most of the other Crowley tapes that I've heard. I dig how TPOS made a point to delineate the ritual recordings from Crowley's poetry readings, with the former on the A-side and the latter on the back. Keeping these two different sessions slightly separated enhances the listening experience, at least for me.

I'm not concerned with the debates surrounding Crowley's delivery of the legendary Enochian Calls and whether or not his pronunciations were correct - I'm just glad that I can hear the man doing his thing. For anyone interested in early 20th century magick, Thelema, Golden Dawn, etc., the four tracks are fascinating to listen to. Crowley invokes "The Call Of The First Aethyr " and "The Call Of The Second Aethyr ", each one first attempted in the original Enochian text, then followed by his reading of the English translation. Obviously the fidelity on these ritual recordings are primitive and murky at best; the century-old technology used to record this work immediately left a patina of great age and aural obfuscation on the material; I've noticed that the recordings posted online have attracted some small following of ASMR fans who respond to the crackling, dust-caked, distant feel of the recording, the air filled with scratches of time and wear on crumbling grooves. That newfound aspect of this just makes everything around these Crowley recordings even weirder, as they find their way into the digital age.

The poetry featured on side two is of greater interest to me, actually. I'm a huge fan of his pornographic, scatological verse collected in his book White Stains; there are lines in there that black metal lyricists would have killed to come up with. The poetry recording is made up of ten individual spoken pieces, and as is the case with his written verse, the quality can vary. Pieces like the heartsick paean to love "La Gitana" and the flowing dreamstate of "At Sea" can somewhat resemble the surrealist visions of Breton, though not quite reaching the same ecstatic heights; also unusual is the declaratory meter of "The Pentagram", the bawdy tribute to whoredom "One Sovereign For Woman", the weird warnings of "Fingernails", and "Excerpts From The Gnostic Mass", which drifts off from your speakers like a homily, strange and profane. Lesser works like the self-referential "The Poet", his eulogy to "The Titanic", and the celebratory cadence of "Hymn to the American People on the Anniversary of Their Independence" are still important to hear, even if just as a historical piece. But the weirdest of all of this stuff is the song "Viva La France" at the very end, which Crowley belts out alongside piano accompaniment - it's a fittingly perverse and unexpected burst of jocularity from the guy, who here hardly sounds like the great degenerate and icon of "evil" of his era. I love it. I really get the impression from some of these readings that Crowley was a romantic at heart.

Alongside Austin Osman Spare, there's no arguing that Aleister Crowley really was the most notorious and influential occultist of the 20th century, and he lives still, his voice a spirit revived from ancient pieces of wax and aluminum.



MOTHER OF SIGHS  self-titled  CASSETTE   (Anathemata Editions)   11.99
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Another great musical project from the husband and wife duo of Terence Hannum (Locrian / Axebreaker) and Erica Burgner-Hannum (Unlucky Atlas), here working as a stripped-out duo compared to the full band setup of their amazing dream-pop/post-punk outfit The Holy Circle. With their eponymous debut as Mother Of Sighs, the duo pay homage to the era of horror film soundtracks that produced their name (their moniker is a reference to the classic 1977 Argento film Suspiria and incoporate elements of the grim post-industrial dronescaping Terence crafts with Locrian, heavy doses of carcinogenic noise, and sweeping nocturnal synthesizers that merge together into something grand and terrible. Murky eletronics melt together into sinister forms as primal drum machine rhythms thud deep in the mix, the high end cut out of the mix as opener "Black Bile" spills out into a brackish, bleary stream of gothic drone, stacked keys and pipe organ-style tones swirling into simple and chilling melodies while tortured screams issue out of the distant blackness. Definitely aims and hits a high score on the creep-o-meter, avoiding rote "retro" synthesizier stylings for something much more abstract and suffocating. It's really more like the sort of blackened industrial that ANNIHILVS seems to specialize in. But then things take turns for the morose as stuff like "Claustrum" weaves in those ethereal vocals from Erica amid a mellowed-out groove that sounds like something on 4AD circa 1988 on a bad trip. Multi-tracked singing and spare beats and beautiful, bleak melodic structures form out of the amorphous shadows, leading to the heavier synth-driven doomwave of "Anxia Corda" , which is positioned in the middle of the EP perfectly; each piece of music has evolved to this point, materializing as a dark pulsating dream that seeps into your awareness. That feeling of gothic grandeur reappears as "Ourself Behind Ourself" drifts in over your head, and again we're descended into a strange but intensely emotional deathpop mutation, billowing minor key chords and incandescent church organ drones winding around those lovely vocals.

That pair of songs make up some of the best music I've heard these folks put together, summoning a certain level of nostalgic bliss from old darkwave and synth scores but warping it gradually into something more malefic; when that other half-chanted processed voice appears over the end of the former song, it's pretty unnerving, just as it is when those narcoleptic ululuations drop like heavy black clouds into the abyss with the latter. The way that the tape swaddles these blissed-out pieces amid the opening driftscapes and the lengthy midnight ether of closer "Dysthymia" is handled almost perfectly, balancing the pure ambience of those haunting electronic fields with oh-too-brief passages of languid melancholy...man, it's lovely stuff, even as it all makes your hair stabnd on end.


Track Samples:
Sample : Dysthymia
Sample : Anxia Corda
Sample : Black Bile


TORTURING NURSE  Recycled Music Series  CASSETTE   (RRRecords)   4.99
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LYSERGIC  Void Dissociation  CASSETTE   (Crucial Blast)   8.00
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Here is another recent debut that immediately chewed my face off upon first contact. Coming from the fertile war-metal grounds of Alberta, Canada, the band Lysergic suddenly crashed into our reality at the beginning of May 2023 with this three-song blast of freakish, psychotronic black / death metal. The band remains anonymous but has tendrils digging into the Calgary metal underground. More importantly, this outfit delivers something I've been waiting for, a sound that channels the exact mental and emotional state I arrive at whenever I listen to stuff like Conqueror, Black Witchery or Revenge after shotgunning two bottles of cough syrup. For years, I've been waiting for this. And Lysergic brings it. Made up of three explosive tracks ( "Erratic Noose Departure", "Maggot Crown Usurper", "Throne Annihilation" ), the EP detonates eruptions of convulsive and hallucinatory war-blast that slips in and out of dimensional phase, merging a sulfuric whirlwind of barbaric riffs, hammering drum-machine generated tempos, electronic derangement, and foul vocal emanations with a fractured and downright psychedelic quality befitting its name. There is no lessening of the core brutality behind this specific sound; this shit is ferocious, a roiling mass of air-raid siren horror, raw and relentless blastbeat drumming, primitive chainsaw guitar, all glomming together with sickening, echoing snarls and moments of unmistakable Conqueror-worship. But this carnivorous blast-attack spins out of control pretty fast, those inhuman, reptilian vocals getting tangled and knotted in crazed amounts of delay and reverb, emitting a hallucinatory, tracer-like aural effect, joined in with what fast turns into a phantasmagoria of noxious electronic skree, over-the-top guitar noise, grinding loops of distant voices and sculpted feedback, the spaces between songs filling up with cacophonic, monstrous sound deformation. And when the tempo eventually shifts into a slower, sludgy muck, it all leads this tape into a foul final crush of collapsing sonic structures. It's fucked up.

This kind of trippy, noise-damaged war-metal mutation has been worming out of the rotten woodwork in recent years, and man, I can't get enough of it. Lysergic dive a little deeper into straight-up electronic noise and loop-abuse than many of its peers, but like I mentioned, these songs never stray from that signature black/death sound, stripping it down to its most atavistic fundamentals, the riffs and drums locking into a droning hypnosis, but then splattering all of it with a chain of wrecked FX pedals, barbed metallic feedback manipulations, and piercing high-frequency sound-waves. A twelve-minute scream from the edges of churning black chaos: Dimethyltriptykon Uprise. Final Rope Reprieve.

Harsh stuff. If you've been prowling around the more grotesque edges of the "bestial" field in recent years, you've likely tapped in to some like-minded aberrations that push the limits of coherence and musicality; to my ears, this violent filth comes howling out of an adjacent DMT-damaged deathzone to the one that's populated by bands like Sect Pig, Methgoat, Nuclearhammer, Kapala, and Human Agony.

This cassette edition of Void Dissociation comes on purple cassette with full color artwork; the multi-panel sleeve includes the complete lyrics for the release.


Track Samples:
Sample : Erratic Noose Departure
Sample : Maggot Crown Usurper
Sample : Throne Annihilation


LORD KAOS  Thorns Of Impurity  2 x LP   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)   32.00
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ALLIN, GG  Freaks, Faggots, Drunks & Junkies (2022 SHIT MIX VINYL)  LP   (Awareness)   19.99
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Now also available in a limited-edition 2022 "shit mix” colored vinyl edition for all of you distinguished aesthetes out there.

In 2016 year of our lord, it's almost unfathomable that this rare beast could have once stalked the face of the earth. But when I need a real social palette cleanser, I turn to the late 80s GG Allin stuff. And this motherfucker is top of the pile, one of the filth-king's rattiest and nastiest albums. The fifth album from Allin and originally released on Gerard Cosloy's Homestead Records, Freaks captures the beast during my favorite period of his career: with this particular expression of his monstrous Id, Allin enlisted the talents of Bulge, who otherwise belched out a couple of rippin' thrashcore releases on Ax/ction and Fudgeworthy in the early 90s, and who featured members of Gonkulator, Jesus Chrust, and Psycho. Bulge's drummer Charlie Infection had already previously worked with Allin by including the song "I Wanna Suck Your Cunt" on the Welcome To Ax/ction Island compilation. Bulge was a relatively tighter, more "stable" band compared to Allin's previous backing group, so the team-up made sense.

That said, this album is a warzone: a pitch-shifted GG lays down the law with the spoken word intro "My Revenge", then throws us headfirst into a nineteen-song orgy of drug-damaged blues riffs and monstrously fucked-up hardcore punk. His vocals sound totally scorched here, like the man has been swilling gasoline in between vocal takes. "Be My Fuckin Whore"' offers a litany of degradation and misogynistic abuse set to primitive hardcore, with some almost Greg Ginn-level guitar warp going on when it rips into a solo, followed by the thirty-second noisecore-esque blast-chaos of "Suck My Ass It Smells". "Dog Shit" delivers what is possibly my favorite line from the guy, "...Get the fuck outta my bread line...", and that general mean-spirited, ragged hardcore attack makes up the bulk of Freaks.

Other scorchers include sickoid mid-tempo rippers like "Anti Social Masterbator" (sic)and "Last In Line For The Gang Bang" that collectively climb right into your head and won't leave. You've got a nod to David Allan Coe via "Outlaw Scumfuc". And with the messed-up and overtly brain-damaged moments like the lumbering, tuneless skull-beating on "Wild Riding" and "Crash & Burn" , Allin and crew puke up a kind of Flipper / Kilslug / Black Flag-style scum-dirge that's swarming with gruesome guitar skronk, grating atonal synthesizer, go-nowhere sludgepunk riffing, and some of the more unsettling and orgasmic vocals we've heard from Allin. Goddamn awesome stuff. The closer "My Bloody Mutilation" is a drawn-out, industrial nightmare, a fog of clanking, metallic atonality and tortured invective screams, raving madness set to a oily black shimmer of deformed ambience, almost Abruptum-like in it's sheer abject hideousness. But if I had to give you just one reason to pick up this atrocity, it's the song "Die When You Die" (actually itself a sort-of cover of Destroy All Monsters's proto-punk classic "You're Gonna Die" ), a perfectly formed piece of anti-social, anti-human punk rock that has gone on to be covered by countless punk and black metal bands in the decades since. It's one of the greatest Allin songs of all time.

Bottom line is this- fans of fucked-up and demented 80s' hardcore who haven't heard this stuff are missing out. This is hanging out on the most terrible fringes of hardcore. The height of anti-social art-psychosis and chaos-invocation in the latter half of the 1980s. The Freaks album could sit nicely alongside other albums that I would term "outsider hardcore", in spite of some probable pushback from members of the punk scene. But GG and the Bulge beasts were not interested in working within the parameters of the then-current hardcore scene. This is so much more transgressive, more bizarre, more genuinely deranged and incontrovertibly misanthropic, more dissident and self-destroying in every possible way. Allin himself considered this album to be one of the best of his career. A sodomatic , Dionysian immolation rite, pursuing ultimate physical transcendence in a manner not unlike the Aghori sect. And man, nobody ever came close to hustling the way that GG did. It's a sight and sound to behold. Everyone else was performing theater. This was the real deal.



HYPER-ANNOTATION  001  BOOK   (PostHuman Magazine)   19.99
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SAVAGE REPUBLIC  Tragic Figures: 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition  2 x CD   (Real Gone Music)   19.99
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Colossal 2022 reissue

The LP is available on red vinyl in a pressing of 2000 copies, packaged in a particularly striking gatefold jacket.

Hailing from a window of time in the 1980s when bands, partuclarly American ones, were taking the influence of paradigm-shifting post-punk like Public Image Ltd., Joy Division, Wire and Gang Of Four into more harrowing, aggressive, abject dimensions, the earliest Savage Republic music is dark and mesmeric and harsh on their debut album Tragic Figures from 1982. Along with the influence of the screeching atonality and anti-social skronk of the NYC No Wave crowd, this music also leeched some of the primal percussive power and dystopic deliria of the burgeoning post-industrial music scene, and found Savage Republic (for awhile at least) creating an abrasive clamor and more menacing attitude that would get comparisons, then and now, to other early 80s street-beaters like Swans and Big Black. I ended up discovering Savage Republic way later in life, which is aggravating; if I had heard this in my teens when I was utterly obsessed with Swans and the early proto-noise rock underground, Tragic Figures would've been rumbling out of my bedroom at all hours of day and night. When I finally had someone shove this record under my nose several years ago, it was kinda revelatory. This stuff was heavy, not in the metallic sense of course, but heavy in mood and 'tude, more aggressive and acerbi9c than what I might have expected to hear.

That cover image of Iranian military forces executing Kurdish rebels in 1979

On the first side, the music is tilted towards more of an instrumental breakout - the metal-on-metal percussive frenzy comes on strong as opener "When All Else Fails" bursts forth like a crazed protest assault, an array of rattling, stomping, clanking rhythms laid over each other while heavy bass and chugging distorted guitar grind out simple, sludgy, skull-mashing riffs. That wild rebeliious energy burns brightly throughout the album, from the aggressive tribal beats and menacing two-chord muck-punk of "Attempted Coup : Madagascar Percussion", the winding spiky guitar and multi-level polyrhtyms that energize "The Ivory Coast" as it rumbles and shakes, those sinister No Wave influences merging with that relentless syncopated drive on "Next To Nothing", on to the clanking industrial drone rock raga of the back-to-back "Exodus" and "Machinery" (whose pissed-off hardcore punk-style vocal delivery summons vivid visions of our slow moving apocalypse), te super-short ritual loop "Zulu Zulu ", that crumbling mass of distortion, gnarly bass riffage, and burgeoning violence that underscores the satirical "Real Men". This stuff gets even more unnerving towards the end as anguished shrieks ring out over "Flesh That Walks"'s feral racket and cannibal manifestos. "Kill The Fascists!" is a pretty straightfoward junkyard symphony (recorded in the underground tunnels beneath UCLA) that speaks pretty clearly for itself, but it all drifts into oblivion when closer "Procession" disassembles the band's sounds into a hypnotizing haze..

It's all quite noisy and abrasive, paerticularly from the guitar, whose peformance delivers a tetanus-infected shock of slashing droning strings, burly and bass-heavy slow-motion power chord dirges, gusts of atonal skree, and some straight-up brain damaged shredding that takes me to some kind of malfunctioning nirvana state.

- this is clearly the stuff that critic Robert Christgau was talking about in his old review of the album where he described Tragic as resembling "Flipper doing Afropop originals?".

Obviously fans of the more abject and twisted end of experimental sludge-punk are going to find some real meta to chew on here, if there was anything even close to a modern analogue to Savage Republic's early urban-conflict wardance it might be that Billy Bao stuff; there's no way that those guys weren't luistening to this stuff on repeat.

The other disc pulls all of the pre-Savage Republic recordings together, from when the group called themselves Africa Corps and recorded their music in UCLA area parking garages. And man, this stuff is great! Most of these tracks have never before been released; the majority of these songs were carried over onto the Savage debut ("Attempted Coup : Madagascar", "When All Else Fails", "Real Men", etc.), but here they sound even more immediate and cacophonic, record live together in a group frenzy, all of the heavy sludge-punk riffs even grungier and filthier here, the guitar's barbed-wire post-punk/No Wave-influenced raga-like drones and sharp biting chords and angry discordant scrapes pushed further up in the mix. There is so much clank and glass and pipe-banging mixed up with the trance-inducing drumming that it sweeps over your senses, random yelling and raging and howling in the background behind the main vocalist (momentarily reminding me of the most aggro moments from Cro-Magnon), with these general feeling of hysteria and anxiety and flailing hostility being unleashed.

Some of these songs only appear here, like the fleeting junk-freakout "The Vampire Bites ", the severely bizarre experimental tape-music spewed across "Next To Nothing Weirdness", and amazing ectatsic freeform explosions like "Thee Three Preserves" and "Sliding Into Arabia" with their imposing, crudely formed melodies informed by Middle Eastern scales

the eleven minute version of "Procession (Into The Light)" is completely mesmerizing, just an endless tribal rhythm delivered to a state of __________________

and the burlier, murkier version of "Exodus" that whips up a spectacular drone-rock mantra

I think that the "Tragic Figures" recordings of all of this are superior in the end, but hearing the musicians working out their ideas and attack together sounds great on this preface recording, definitely a recommended listen for fans of what the band would quickly evolve into


Track Samples:
Sample : Flesh That Walks
Sample : Machinery
Sample : Attempted Coup: Madagascar


DISCORDANCE AXIS  The Inalienable Dreamless (Reissue)  LP + 7"   (Willowtip)   31.00
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BOREDOM KNIFE  Stalker  CASSETTE   (Crucial Blast)   9.00
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Finnish musician Marko Neuman has been busy as hell lately. I'd been following his work previously via the assorted high-grade bands he has been in (Dark Buddha Rising, Overdose Support, Sum Of R, Ural Umbo, Waste Of Space Orchestra). But until very recently, I hadn't heard his noise project Boredom Knife. It made an impact on me, though. Checking out previous releases like the split with Crepuscular Entity ‎on Basement Corner Emissions or the Your Pain Is Getting Worse tape on Bent Window introduced me to a cruel, cold strain of harsh noise, a form of deep-field black static, flecked with elements of power electronics and K2-style junk-avalanche. I was already getting deep into it when Neuman sent me his latest recording, Stalker.

This twenty-three-minute release pairs two corresponding pieces, "Envy" and "Snap", the first a long and winding chaos-channel into the doom-laden intensity of the second. The atmosphere around this release is felt in the cold stare, the mindless gaze, and the resulting vortex of emotional destruction that was written in the postures of celestial forms long before the final act of exterminating envy and dominance occurred. Lines cut through the star-map of lethal obsession. The predetermined hunt.

Boredom Knife's Stalker emits a cold, piercing gaze instantly, the first side "Envy" churning out a dense wall of hollowed-out drones, black static, bursts of corrosive hiss, and strange pulse-like rhythms buried deep within the core of this ghostly noisescape. While there's much to digest here for enthusiasts of the "wall", Neuman produces something much more complex and dramatic. Feedback and speaker-rumble are carefully probed and manipulated, vicious high frequency noise expressed through rivers of metallic skree that are easy to drown in. That first track gradually and deliberately evolves from the mechanical whirr, junk-style clatter, and mangled (but weirdly melodious) carnage at the beginning, morphing into a steady field of layered screech and endless hum, sharpened metal scrape and clusters of bizarre, almost subliminal gurgling that continue to resurface throughout the track. It conjures a hypnotic, possibly psychedelic state of sonic overwhelm, each layer of cruel noise obsessively carved and sculpted into a latter half of near-complete roar, before it finally circles back to a final stretch of rhythmic squelch, immutable drone, and hideous shattered distortion that resolves into a final noxious junk-loop at the end.

This brief bit of structured noise is instantly obliterated with the onset of the b-side "Snap". Everything is sucked inward, imploding in a vast mass of roaring, raging static. Some semblance of the humanity heard on the previous track is dragged to the surface and obliterated. This piece concludes Stalker with a blast of oppressive, dominating black static that remains almost constant over the entire runtime. Bits of machine-like jitter, traces of peripheral musicality, horrifying shrieks, it is all swirling inward, into itself, this titanic maelstrom of over-modulated electronics and eerie voice-like entities, teeth-grinding distortion, and covert structures of sound, all going down the drain forever. This is where Stalker really turns into something psychedelic, affecting your senses and your perception of the space around you as that chaos keeps seething and spinning, occasionally shooting out chunks of strange sonic debris and whiplash tentacles of high-end feedback. And then, for the first time, a volley of fearsome shrieks and howls come flying out of that chaos, incomprehensible screams of abject horror. Just for a moment, those nightmare distorted vocals blow your hair back, and it all suddenly collapses into itself, leaving you with a brief moment of deadened electrical thrum before it abruptly stops.

I've listened to a number of Boredom Knife releases, and while much of his material shares this tenacious sadism and auditory blast-violence, this one gives me the creeps. Stalker finds that blood-specked middle ground between the gargantuan murderous PE of Slogun, and the obliterating heaviosity of classic harsh noise.


Track Samples:
Sample : Snap
Sample : Envy


CULTIC  Whip Seduction ( XXL )  SHIRT   (Crucial Blast)   22.00
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Released alongside the skull-stomping new Seducer (Expanded Edition) EP, the Whip Seduction shirt features a stunning, brand-new design by Cultic drummer and acclaimed illustrator Rebecca Magar. This design is exclusive to Crucial Blast, and features what could well be my favorite art from Rebecca / Wailing Wizard to date - for real, I'm possessed by an overwhelming impulse to get this tattooed on my person. Perfectly capturing the sleaze, filth, and carnal violence of Cultic's brand of atavistic, dungeon synth-soaked death metal, it's also one of the coolest designs that we've released over here at C-Blast. This is a highly quality three-color print courtesy of our collaborators at Forest Passage Printing, available on black 100% cotton Gildan garments. GET SEDUCED.

SHIPPING THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 9TH, 2024.




BORIS  No  LP   (Third Man Records)   22.00
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Track Samples:
Sample : Genesis
Sample : Temple of Hatred
Sample : Fundamental Erorr


ANAAL NATHRAKH  In The Constellation Of The Black Widow  2 x LP   (Back On Black)   22.00
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Back in stock.

Crushing eschatological violence. 2009's In The Constellation Of The Black Widow from British industrial death/black crushers Anaal Nathrakh is as extreme as anything the band has produced so far, a ten song blast of hellish, apocalyptic violence that signaled a return to the full-on feral fury of earlier albums like The Codex Necro and When Fire Rains Down From The Sky, Mankind Will Reap As It Has Sown. It was on those early releases that the band quickly established themselves as one of the most intense newer black/death bands to have surfaced at the dawn of the 2000s. Certainly one of the most pissed off sounding bands, that's for sure. After getting blasted with the withering misanthropy of those early works, it's tough coming up with another band that exudes as much anti-human vitriol within the death metal spectrum as these guys.

Their nihilistic tone was tempered somewhat by Anaal Nathrakh's growing inclusion of power metal-style vocal heroics and soaring melody as their career continued, though. I'd always been a fan of those more melodic qualities that the band incorporated into the ultra-violent, twisted deathblast on later albums, but in many ways Constellation was a return to form, with the demonic vocal outbursts that switch on a dime between insanely harsh shrieks and guttural growls taking center stage versus David Hunt's majestic baritone, the convoluted, savage riff-arrangements, the slashing, dissonance of the guitars, the corrosive electronic noise, and those furious programmed drum machines ripping through these ten tracks like artillery fire. And corrosive electronic noise that made their debut one of my favorite black/death album ever. That barbaric industrialized death metal riffage and blackened hyperblast is colored by additional textures like ghostly voices and samples that lurk beneath the metallic onslaught, and there are frequent outbursts of psychotic guitar solos, vicious electronic glitchery and weird industrial samples that explode out of nowhere, constantly keeping these songs in a state of panicked tension. One of their more ferocious records, this sees Anaal Nathrakh chronicling our slow-motion apocalypse better than most, delivering another amazingly brutal slab of supremely epic death/black metal.


Track Samples:
Sample : ANAAL NATHRAKH-In The Constellation Of The Black Widow
Sample : ANAAL NATHRAKH-In The Constellation Of The Black Widow


SLEEP  Sleep's Holy Mountain  LP   (Earache)   22.98
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     Back in print on limited-edition vinyl from Earache, remastered from the original tapes.

     Sleep's second album Sleep's Holy Mountain from 1993 is a hallmark in the stoner/doom/sludge/psych metal field, a gargantuan riff-feast set to trance inducing tempo that took Black Sabbath's slow motion acid rock and turned it into what would pretty much become the template for the drug doom sound that bands like Electric Wizard and Bongzilla would later explore. By now, metal fans know the storied history of Sleep, the major label woes, the hour-long one song album Jerusalem, the band's disintegration and the members going on to form High On Fire (in the case of Matt Pike) and Om (which featured the Sleep rhythm section of Al Cisneros and Chris Hakius).

     But after all of these years, this album still has a heavy magic about it, and every time I throw it on the turntable it continues to blow my third eye open with all its energized psych-rock freakouts that merge into massive droning doom metal, Cisneros' narcotized chanting, the drug-trip science fantasy lyrics that read like they came out of a beat up, dogeared 70's print of Edgar Rice Burrough's Chessmen Of Mars or John Norman's Tarnsman Of Gor, all space-faring dragonriders and insect caravans and intergalactic pilgrims in search of the ultimate weed, maaaaaaan. Sleep's riffs are still some of the heaviest ever, influenced by Iommi's playing in Sabbath but dipped in liquid lead, massive and grooving. "The Druid", instrumental "Some Grass", "Dragonaut", "From Beyond", all classic and crucial blasts of ultra fried, ultra heavy psychedelic doom. Adorned in a strange visual design that combines stoned-out drughaze band pics, eye-popping colors and Robert Klem's graffiti-esque, Keith Haring-influenced artwork. An essential album for anyone into doom metal, psych metal, and sludge


Track Samples:
Sample : SLEEP-Sleep's Holy Mountain
Sample : SLEEP-Sleep's Holy Mountain


WELTER IN THY BLOOD  The Grim Visage Of Death  LP   (Black Goat)   15.98
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INCANTATION  Tricennial Of Blasphemy (BLOOD RED EDITION)  3 x LP   (Relapse)   39.99
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THEOLOGIAN  A World Of Rain And Failure  CDR   (Annihilvs)   8.99
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WHITEHOUSE  The Sound Of Being Alive  CD   (Susan Lawly)   17.99
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Here's an odd one: this new full-lengther is presented as a kind of "Best Of" package that focuses almost exclusively on the 2000s-era output from the highly influential UK power electronics group Whitehouse, charting their arc of anti-human lunacy and digital savagery from approximately 1998 through 2007. All of the material on Alive has been released before in one form or another, so it's of limited use to any longtime fans that already have all of the original releases. But if you're a newcomer to Whitehouse's noxious, spellbinding skree, this nearly seventy minute compilation will get you up to speed pretty quickly on the brand of mega-distorted synth-hate that the duo of William Bennett and Philip Best were spewing across that decade.

And as a primer for that partocularl period of the band's career, it works well; the twelve tracks are culled from a combination of 2003's Bird Seed, 2001's Cruise, 2006's Asceticists, 2007's Racket, and 1998's Mummy And Daddy, and include such hideuous post-millenial "hits" as "Wriggle Like A Fucking Eel", "A Cunt Like You" and "Why You Never Become A Dancer". By this point, their sound had mutated from the fairly simplistic early power electronics and excruciating feedback-hate of their early, 80's-era records into a heavier, more maniacal strain of noise, fusing their shrieking, transgressive rantings to a brutal squall of over-modulated electronics, blown-out tribal rhythms (an element that Bennett would later explore at further length with his Cut Hands project), and their two-pronged vocal assault that often tips over into unrestrained insanity. This is troubling and abrasive and confrontational extreme art, occasionally laced with moments of skin-crawling nightmarishness that appear on tracks like "Daddo" and "Philosophy".



FAXED HEAD  Exhumed At Birth  LP   (Million Dollar Performances)   25.99
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MURDEROUS VISION  Life's Blood Death's Embrace  CD   (Live Bait)   11.99
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NIGHTSTICK  Death To Music  CD   (Relapse)   14.98
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GRIEF  Dismal  LP   (Fuck Yoga)   19.99
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GRAVESIDESERVICE  Popes Pears (REISSUE)  CD   (Church of the Immaculate Deception)   9.99
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DEATHROW  Deception Ignored (Reissue)  LP   (Noise)   34.99
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CELTIC FROST  Vanity / Nemesis (Deluxe Reissue)  CD DIGIBOOK   (Noise)   14.99
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CONTROLLED BLEEDING  Body Samples  2 x CD   (Artoffact Records)   17.98
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DIMENTIANON  Dreaming Yuggoth  CD   (Paragon)   9.99
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Man, I love this band. You want to see a group of musicians pull off some wild sleight-of-hand with their sound? Dimentianon do just that with their latest album, the first in a dercade from these USBM iconoclasts. I had raved about the off-kilter, slightly prog-damaged blackened death of their Collapse The Void LP, an album that likewise took the black/death vibe and twisted and carved it into something unexpected. Well, Yuggoth does the same but in a completely different manner; I haven't seen much chatter about the album online, but this has got to be one of the wildest discs of 2021. I was originally drawn to these guys being a fan of their other bands, with one member doing time in Evoken, and a couple members manning the awesomely horrific underground doom outfit Rigor Sardonicous. After digging in to their older work, I've heard a band who has been in a state of constant violent flux with each new record, while remaining pretty commited to visions of cosmic horror and nihilism that move through the music on every record. The Lovecraftian-themed title of Dreaming Yuggoth is a giveaway for an even deeper push into nihilistic philosophy and jet-black cosmology, but tyhe lyrics offer something more intimately anguished and existential. No mere "bestial" blast with these guys, especially with this latest album.

The first time I listened to Yuggoth I thought I had them pinned down, with the beginning of the album exploding into a warblast of cyclonic black metal and deathdoom heaviosity. But with each song Dreaming Yuggoth shifts and turns on itself, a slow and deliberate move towards slower, almost gothic rock like arrangements that dominate the second half of the album. It's pretty brilliant listening, at first being flayed by the churning mass of black/death barbarism of "Undying Bliss" a rage of atavistic blastbeats and hypnotic, primitive riffing that cycles continuously. Kind of reminds me of the weirder latter day Beherit stuff, but only vaguely. But then the band emits clouds of symphonic-sounding synth into the otherwise monstrous, ascendent chorus, those keyboards filling the chaos with an unusual , majestic presence not often heard in this style of extreme metal. And an even bigger curve is thrown when the song melts down into eerie doom/death, a trudging, cadaverous procession. This growing atmopsheric and melodic feel builds as it proceeds to create an undeniably dark and anguished soundcape. "Dwelling Into Madness" unfursl into more ghostly death-doom spiked with those ethereal keys before erupting into murky blackened deathblast and swirls of carnivorous havoc. This killer combination of black metal, deathdoom, and strangely dreamy slo-mo periods of cello, glockenspiel, and synths takes the listener on a winding path of unearthly, catchy classic metal riffing, galloping tempos, ferodicous , almost punk-like bursts of mid-tempo disorder, the music swinging into ravines of massive death metal groove and bone-crushing chug, all assembled into off-kilter song structures and riff changes, and flashes of surreal, dissonant ambient keys that act like a toxic mortar for the band's relentlless attack. And the eleven somgs definitely deliver an assault, lead singer Mike Zanchelli spewing his hideous, almost monotone toad-croak with some seriously pissed-off sounding energy, and every riff and groove hammered into the earth with muscular, indomitable force.

But in the midst of this, a song meerges like "Smoke Rising" with its gleaming arpeggios and shimmering cymbals, backing choral voices rising as Zanchelli's menacing whisper drifts on pained eulogies. There's a notable shift here, as the album begins a transfiguration into more rocking, lyrical forms, the later songs sounding almost reminiscent of some early 90s gothic gloom like Lycia, a heavy darkwave vibe emerging and coalescing with the inherent heaviness and aggression; it's one of my favorite moments on Yuggoth. It gets even more intense as the ethereal, mournful atmopshere shifts again into a masssive doom dirge at the end, a simple, catchy hook grinding away at the light. There's more glimmering, dimly-lit gloom with the title track, a brief instrumental piece that unfolds into chorus-tinged guitars unwinding minor key sorrow over droning keys for a moment. There's also these great, melancholy baritone vocals from keyboardist Don Zaros that become another presence in Yuggoth's progression, contrasting nicely with Zanchelli's vicious blackened growl; that combo moves through the rest of the songs. This shift is unexpected and haunting, transforming "Beyond The Scree" and "The Infinite Talisman" into a kind of dark, withering, gnarled gothic rock underscored by the band's metallic power, the stately, world-weary mood and meditative groove evoking Fields Of The Nephilim's later work, the more accessible My Dying Bride songs, even some of Enslaved's more recent rock-influenced sound. That deep, yearning singing amid Dimentianon's abrasiveness definitetly reminds me of Eld-era Enslaved, but the comparison stops there. These guys craft all of this into something more harsh and erosive, finally moving from that ominous, gothy slowness into the most ruinous deathdoom of the album on "The Path Less Travelled", then closing with a piano and synth instrumental that's evocative of some old European folk song.

This album is epic. That mixture of black / death metal and deathdoom with those gloriously somber darkwave elements and how the band merges then together really turns the whole thing into something rather unique.


Track Samples:
Sample : Undying Bliss
Sample : Smoke Rising
Sample : The Infinite Talisman


GORGUTS  From Wisdom To Hate (2019 Reissue)  CD   (Punishment 18 Records)   17.99
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This Italian import of the latest From Wisdom To Hate CD reissue took long enough to make it over here to the USA, but I finally nabbed some. Released by the reissue-heavy Punishment 18 Records, which I've fast become fond of: for whatever weird reason that the big metal labels are letting their catalog go completely out of print on physical media, Punishment 18 and its companion label MDD Records are doing the lord's work by releasing some great, high-quality reissues of avant-metal necessities like Solefald's In Harmonia Universali, Eyehategod's Dopesick, several Orphaned Land albums, and even Gorguts' other classic, Obscura.

The packaging is a foldout twelve-panel poster cover, and includes Luc Lemay's previous liner notes for Hate from the 2014 reissues.

Here's my older write-up for the disc:

This is the fourth and last album that Gorguts put out before the band went on an indefinite hiatus in 2001 that just let up this past year when the French Canadian metallers reconvened with a new lineup that included members of Dysrhythmia and Behold The Arctopus, and was the follow-up to their career-defining masterpiece Obscura, still one of the most challenging, avant-garde death metal albums of all time. Everyone wondered how Gorguts could follow up the bizarre, ultra-dissonant alien death metal of that album, and in response the band came back with something that was part Obscura, and part old school Gorguts, dialing down some of the over-the-top skronk and atonal riff weirdness while reinstating some of the sound of their technical early 90's albums The Erosion of Sanity and Considered Dead; the result is not as challenging and far-out as the previous album, but it's still a fantastic combination of their avant-garde skronk and crushing death metal riffage.

From Wisdom To Hate is loaded with convoluted time signatures, those trademark discordant guitar chords and off-kilter dissonance, the scrapes and squeals and bizarre riff structures. The songs are assembled in strange, complex arrangements that are generally far outside of what you'd expect out of typical death metal. Angular interlaced riffs often shift and repeat over and over, like on the mind-warping atonal deathblast of opener "Inverted", and the jarring, doom-laden insanity of "Behave Through Mythos". Compared to Obscura, however, the vocals are less extreme, with frontman / mastermind Luc Lemay delivering a deeper, more guttural vocal style compared to the psychotic wheezing screams that he emitted on the previous record.

Also of note is the lengthy "The Quest For Equilibrium", which combines some great eerie keyboards and echoing gongs that produce a strange sort of modern-classical ambience that leads into one of the album's more doom-laden moments; that sort of nod to modern composition is something that we'd hear even more of after the band started releasing newer music on Season Of Mist. Overall, though, it's a slightly more straightforward and song-focused album than its predecessor, and an essential disc for Gorguts fans (and anyone into extreme tech/prog death).


Track Samples:
Sample : GORGUTS-From Wisdom To Hate (2019 Reissue)
Sample : GORGUTS-From Wisdom To Hate (2019 Reissue)


MERZBOW  Tauromachine (2023 Reissue - GOLD EDITION)  2 x LP   (Relapse)   28.99
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BAND, RICHARD  Troll (Original Soundtrack)  LP   (We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want)   34.99
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VARIOUS ARTISTS  Diseases of the Head: Essays on the Horrors of Speculative Philosophy  BOOK   (Punctum Books)   27.00
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SIMONETTI, CLAUDIO  Demons (Ultra Deluxe Vinyl Boxset)  LP + 7"   (Rustblade)   109.99
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WINDHAND  self-titled (2023 REISSUE)  CD   (Relapse)   11.99
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Relapse recently reissued this 2011 masterwork of psychedelic doom, originally out from Forcefield Records. But this revamped 2023 edition of Windhand's dreamy graveyard crawl has undergone a major overhaul, virtually to the point where it's a different release. I listened to my original Forcefield CD and compared it to this, and the re-mastering by the legendary Jack Endino has transformed the sound immensely - it has this huge cavernous depth that's really noticeable to me. I still love the withered, roughened spookiness of the original release, but this one is packing some considerable extra power. Not only that, but both the new CD and vinyl editions of Windhand's eponymous debut feature more than half an hour of bonus material that'll feed the fix for any hardcore Windhand fanatics. And this also features brand new artwork from the masterful Arik Roper, which enfolds the album in an even more ghoulish visual atmosphere.

Here's my original take (lightly edited) on the five-song album proper ("Black Candles", "Libusen", "Heap Wolves", "Summon The Moon", "Winter Sun"):

So, here's where it all started for this remarkably popular doom metal outfit from Richmond, VA. It's easy to see what it is that caught everyone's ear with these folks, though, as Windhand skillfully capture the spirit of classic American doom metal while producing some really well-written songs with real staying power. And of course the presence of lead singer Dorthia Cottrell is a large part of their appeal as well, her bewitching, bluesy voice imbuing these lumbering Sabbathian dirges with a strange and earthy dark magick. They've received all kinds of accolades from the metal community since this album came out, which was followed buy a number of high-profile releases on Relapse Records. In my opinion though, Windhand has never sounded better than they did on this debut. It really takes something special to stand out amongst the hordes of Sabbath / Vitus-worshiping doom bands out there. While there's no mistaking the influence of those pioneers on Windhand's music, they twist that grim, despairing sound into something that feels both more personal and more unique, adding an extra heavy dose of psychedelic malevolence to their dark, mournful atmosphere. The guitarists bring a hefty amount of ultra-heavy droning power to the riffs, without sacrificing any of that hypnotic tone, and Cottrell's witchy moan drifts languidly and imposingly across it all, powerful and phantasmal, her deeply soulful wail echoing through a haze of reverb, having this far-off quality, rising like the smoke from a bonfire of dried, withered Eastern Redbud limbs burning low somewhere in the distance, hanging over the pulverizing psych-doom of songs like "Libusen" and "Summon The Moon". Great stuff.

With that striking vocal performance, the wrecking-ball-heavy grooves of the rhythm section of Nathan Hilbish and Ryan Wolfe, and the howling twin guitars from Asechiah Bogdan and Garrett Morris, Windhand's molten blacklight vibe becomes all-encompassing. The songs shift from menacing, insanely slo-mo heaviosity to some supremely brain-melting moments of jet-black space rock madness that emerge deeper into the album, where trippy Hawkwindian effects and cosmic guitar noise sweep across the pulverizing bluesy groove. Like the epic twelve-minute closure of "Winter Sun", which features guest vocals from Drew Goldy of RVA black metallers Bastard Sapling. Those are by far my favorite moments on Wimdhamd, delivering a picture-perfect combination of titanic riffage and sky-climbing delirium, the cumulative sound of the band achieving something so heavy and mesmeric, dark and threatening, everything steeped in a sort of rural dread that's echoed in the Appalachian ghostliness of the lyrics. Of course, all of this is what you'd probably expect from this kind of band, but Windhand do it better than most, one of the few bands I've heard that has succeeded in tapping into the same black energy as early Electric Wizard, while sounding utterly "Virginian" at the same time. Highly recommended if you're a devotee of the slow and low.

The bonus tracks are hidden early gems from the Windhand vaults. You get versions of "Heap Wolves" from their 2009 Practice Space demo and "Black Candles" from the Sound Of Music demo from the same year; both recordings have earlier drummer Jeff Loucks on the kit. Raw and rumbling. There's a remixed version of the song "Amaranth " from their split with Cough; this had previously shown up on Rue Morgue Magazine's 2012 Hymns From The House Of Horror III compilation. And the last two songs "Black Candles" and "Winter Sun" are pulled from a 2010 practice space demo. The practice space recordings and early demo material sound remarkably good, capturing that gritty, sinister vibe of the original version of the first album. It's all as pulverizing as anything you've heard from them.



ELDER  Spires Burn / Release (2022 BLUE MARBLE VINYL)  12"   (Armageddon)   17.99
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The latest repress circa 2022, on blue marble vinyl.

Elder's latest slab of swirling downbeat metal follows up their Dead Roots Stirring album with a two-song ascent into more atmospheric territory. Released on vinyl only, the record begins with "Spires Burn", a slow-burning epic with all of the ingredients that make Elder one of the best current doom bands here in the States: those clear, powerful vocals that mesh perfectly with the soaring psychedelic leads and triumphant riffage so imbued with an aura of classic heavy metal; the sudden pitches into seriously-dark Sabbathian creep that the band contrasts with their slightly sunnier, more fist-raising anthemic moments; the swirling space-rock effects that come sweeping over the burning towers and scorched wastelands alluded to in the lyrics; and of course, the absolutely crushing riffage that evokes the meditative bulldozer crush of Sleep. And this song is some of the most rocking stuff I've ever heard from these guys, with some moves into grungy, shoegazy textures toward the end that sort of reminds me of a much heavier Smashing Pumpkins riff.

Then there's the beginning to the second side, where "Release" opens up with an amazing melodic intro that's all cascading clean guitars and dreamy, chiming melody - its goddamn fantastic. This swirling melody works its way into the main part of the song as the whole band locks into this killer Kyuss-esque psych-crush that's equal parts soaring, occult-tinged rock and pulverizing Sabbathian low-end, the guitars spinning out these killer melodic leads later in the song that fall somewhere between Josh Homme and J. Mascis. Elder have never sounded so accessible as they do here, but it's simply based on the strength of the songwriting, definitely a big step up from their debut album. The doom is still in here, its just skillfully contrasted with a dark jangly rock sound that comes together just about perfectly on this record. One of the best new doom releases for 2012 alongside the new Pallbearer album.



VOIVOD  Forgotten In Space  6 x LP BOXSET   (Noise)   215.00
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UNIVERS ZERO  Ceux du dehors  LP   (Sub Rosa)   26.99
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A recent 2022 vinyl reissue of this spook-prog masterpiece. here's my old review of the CD version; it has the same track listing, but features a remaster job for vinyl, and comes in a completely redesigned sleeve that is appropriately creepy-looking.

Regular readers of the C-Blast list have no doubt noticed that I'm a HUGE fan of the legendary Belgian chamber-prog band, and their latest album Clivages was in fact the featured new release for the last Crucial Blast new arrivals list. I've never carried their back catalog here in the shop however, so in keeping with my ongoing effort to try to turn more of you people on to the devilishly dark and baroque prog of UZ, I've picked up almost their entire catalog of releases. For those of you who are unfamiliar with 'em, Univers Zero were one of prog rock's darkest and creepiest sounding bands, a classically influenced ensemble based in Belgium that was formed and guided by the unique vision of drummer Daniel Denis, who had played with French prog gods Magma for a brief period before forming UZ. The music of Univers Zero was distinguished by its connection to 20th century music, taking more inspiration from the dissonant sounds of composers like Bartok, Penderecki and Ligeti than from any of the then-current rock forms, and performing with classical instrumentation that included cello, violin, bassoon, viola, harmonium and piano, taking a good decade before they would finally start to utilize electric instruments. The music of Univers Zero, especially early on their first couple of albums, was also notably dark and oppressive, dissonant and sometimes shockingly heavy, a sort of gothic chamber-prog that would often incorporate Lovecraftian themes of cosmic horror into their song titles and imagery, thanks to Daniel Denis's long-running fascination with the works of H.P. Lovecraft (which was also noticeable in the names of two of his previous bands, Necronomicon and Arkham). Their Bartok-meets-Magma sound and the seriously creepy vibe that still informs their music up to the present day makes UZ one of my favorite prog bands ever, and their first three albums in particular (Univers Zero, Ceux Du Dehors and especially Heresie) are highly recommended listening to any fans of serious aural menace. Since the 1980's, the prog label Cuneiform Records (located right down the road from C-Blast HQ in Silver Spring) has been reissuing the Univers Zero catalog in high-quality editions, often fleshed out with bonus material and liner notes, and all of the available UZ titles on Cuneiform are now in stock here at Crucial Blast.

While not as intensely bleak as they were on previous album Heresie, Univers Zero still travelled through dark lands on their third album Ceux Du Dehors from 1981, another absolutely essential album of creepy, sinister chamber-prog from the Belgian masters. As with the previous album,

these labyrinthine pieces move through sudden turns and complex arrangements, the music entirely instrumental save for some choral backing vocals, but the utter blackness of Heresie has dissipated here, the music still imbued with darkness and dread, but leavened a bit by some jazzier stylings and pieces that foreshadow the strange medieval sounds that Univers Zero would explore in more depth on subsequent albums. Some of their finest compositions are found here: the macabre delirium and bad-dream processional of "Triomphe des Mouches", the creepy carnival nightmare and medieval waltz of "La Corne du Bois des Pendus", the staccato martial aggression and sinister electronic noise blat of "Combat", the grim classical doom of "La Tete Du Corbeau". And "La Musique D'Erich Zann" is the album's token Lovecraft reference, an improvised piece (one of the few improv pieces that Univers Zero would include on a studio album) that's one of UZ's most abstract and hellish sounding recordings, a brief blackened dronescape of dungeon ambience, dripping atmosphere, atonal scraped cello strings, and wheezing discordant harmonium notes.


Track Samples:
Sample : UNIVERS ZERO-Ceux du dehors
Sample : UNIVERS ZERO-Ceux du dehors
Sample : UNIVERS ZERO-Ceux du dehors


SWOLLEN ORGANS  Feeling About Gender Guilt Over Time  CDR   (Annihilvs)   9.98
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BOHREN & DER CLUB OF GORE  Gore Motel  CD   (Epistrophy)   18.99
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Track Samples:
Sample : Die Nahtanznummer, Teil 2
Sample : Der Maggot Tango
Sample : Cairo Keller


FREE SALAMANDER EXHIBIT  Undestroyed  CD   (Web Of Mimicry)   13.98
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PHANTOM LIMBS, THE  Applied Ignorance  CD   (Alternative Tentacles)   13.98
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LAROCHELLE, REMY MATHIEU  Mecanix (2003)  DVD   (Unearthed Films)   18.98
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CYBER-PSYCHOS A.O.D.  Issue 6  MAGAZINE   (CyberPsychos AOD Publishing)   6.00
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WATER  Tempest  CD   (It's in the Water)   6.98
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GREAT KAT, THE  Rossini, Beethoven, Paganini, And Shredfest  CD   (TPR Music)   11.99
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More outsider heavy metal madnes from her majesty! Rossini is one of a crapload of self-released discs that Great Kat has been putting out recently, and like the rest of 'em, I'm obsessed with this shit. As I've mentioned in other reviews of Great Kat material, this current incarnation of the boisterous speed metal siren feels like it walked right out of one of Nick Zedd's post-y2k films, so over the top and knowingly silly that it goes beyond a mere musical experience into the realms of oddball comedy and a very singular strain of fetish material. I have no doubt that Great Kat knows exactly how absurd and outrageous the combination of hyperspeed speed metal, classical music, scantiliy clad cheesecake shots, and berserk energy actually is, and that she's rather hilariously pushing this sound an look as far as she can within what has become something of a cottage industry for the woman over the past thirty-five years.

Like all the other newer EPs and videos, this stuff is maniacal. A ten-minute EP of gonzo speed shred. Total bombast, cranked to the max. Here, the classical pieces being hyperwarped into her fretboard overloads are Beethoven’s "Pastoral Symphony No. 6 ", "Eroica Symphony No. 3", "Für Elise For Guitar, Violin and Piano ", and "Bolero Mosh" (yeah), as well as Rossini’s "William Tell Overture" (transformed into something so ecstatically spastic I can barely keep myself together) , Czardas' "Gypsy Violin", and Paganini’s "Caprice No. 24". The production on Rossini is actually a step above many of her other recent discs; I'm assuming that Great Kat is still using sequenced drumming and backing orchestration to accompany her guitar amd violin performances, but it all sounds much more organic and natural than usual. This is still completely fucking berserk, though. The violin arrangements are multi-tracked into a kind of cocaine-dusted blissout, screaming fretboard shredding and virtuoso violins colliding into bizarre grandeur, with each song racing to an abbreviated, ADD-blasted duration of a minute and a half. I think that this EP, despite all of its outward absurdism, is one of the better showcases of Great Kat's unique style and skill (as well as her ability to piece tjhings together on her own in post0production), whereas some other fairly recent TPR Music discs have had more of a programmed, almost industrial feel to the percussion and symphonic sections that carries a colder, more clinical vibe.


Track Samples:
Sample : Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony No. 6
Sample : Paganini's Caprice No. 24
Sample : Beethoven's Eroica Symphony No. 3


FUDGE TUNNEL  The Complicated Futility Of Ignorance  CD   (Earache)   11.99
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AMANO, MASAMICHI  Urotsukidoji: Legend Of The Overfiend  2 x LP   (Tiger Lab)   32.00
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Beautiful gatefold vinyl release of Amano's legendary electronic score to one of the kinkiest, horniest, most transgressive and downright vile anime of all time. I remember when this film hit videocassette in the early 90s; my friends and I were instantly obsessed by it, and we would hold regular viewing parties in the punk house I rented because we just could not believe that something like this existed. The American anime audience was just beginning to take shape, and many of us became fans of the form after the high-profile release of iconic films like cyberpunk classic Akira and the massively influential Robotech series. But nothing could have prepared us for the debauchery, eroticized violence, and ultra-surrealistic horror that came gushing out of our old cathode floor-model TV and ripping any remnant traces of innocence from our young selves.

If you've never seen it, it's difficult to describe: the muddled narrative, made even more convoluted in the English language dub, is a jumble of teen-sex hijinks and high-school melodrama that somehow collides with an ancient apocalyptic prophecy in which a human being emerges as the “Choujin”, capable of transforming into a skyscraper-tall demonic monster with gargantuan, wildly flailing genitalia; somehow this leads into weird inter-dimensional espionage, bizarre romantic interludes, completely bonkers splatter and body-horror at the Cronenbergian level, sickening displays of extreme sexual violence, human bodies being pulled apart like taffy…it's an orgy of nonsensical ero-guro chaos and tentacle-porn that just keeps building in frenzied strangeness, graphic violence, and mind-blowing obscenity. It actually makes even less sense when you watch it.

This shit was crazy. After that, our nascent otaku-hood was spurred on by the discovery of ever more violent and depraved animated films coming out of Japan, but looking back over the past thirty-odd years, it's hard to come up with anything that matched the sheer offensive power of Urotsukidoji on first watch. Also, as an interesting pop-culture note, White Zombie famously opened their landmark 1992 album La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1 with a sample of one of the electronic sequences from a key scene in the film. Just so you know.

How Masamichi Amano fell into this job, God knows. A perfectly respectable composer for Japanese film and television, for whatever reason he was tapped to set the musical accompaniment to this trashy animated filth. But man, he gets on it with gusto. Amano's offbeat score for the original film is as recognizable and iconic as the film itself, full of blasting synthesizers and orchestral electronics that draw from progressive synth music of the 70s and 80s , the hammering overwrought majesty of Gustav Holst's The Planets suite, and the action-driven electronic sound of contemporary video games. There was and is nothing like it. From what I can tell, this is the complete score, with eighteen tracks spanning the entire film; amazingly, this has apparently never been made available on any physical format before now. Tonally, the music is all over the place, keeping in line with the madcap pace of the film. The sounds range from the soft, billowing New Age romanticism of "A New World", "Niki's Final Moments" and "Nagumo And Akemi" that blends digital chimes, synthetic strings, and lovely mock-woodwind tones to make something so saccharine and mawkish that it sounds like it could have been on a romantic film score cassette from 1983. The orchestral synth sounds feels huge, with lots of auditorium-reverb and booming tympani. Such a weird contrast with the visions of demonic rape and ultra-graphic gore that lurk around every corner. The action-themed pieces like "Battle Among The Skyscrapers" come out of nowhere, with rapid-fire electronic drums, orchestral stabs, driving pop hooks, and swirling celestial synth arpeggios and the appearance of some weird musical scales; this is the stuff that often evokes the feel of the more berserk video game soundtracks of that era, or maybe am especially nutso TV cop drama. The utterly goofy , funky 80s "sex comedy" keyboard music of "Campus Theme" feels totally ridiculous by itself, but the fact that this piece leads into one of the film's most notorious and outrageous sequences of demonic molestation make it that much weirder. As with most anime of the time, there’s a lot of Japanese "city pop" / easy listening music in here, as well, which again just adds to the insane surrealism of the whole thing.

There are all kinds of madness in here. It's psychotic: jazzy fretless bass guitar sounds, prog rock-level Moog freakouts, blazing electric guitar shredding, wacky intricate faux-symphonics, Jerry Goldsmith-esque orchestral arrangements, titanic war-drums, all of these come together in varying degrees. Then you have stuff like "Birth Of The Overfiend" that shifts into avant-garde composition, using atonal improvised piano, suspenseful drones, militaristic percussion (with unmistakable shades of Holst's "Mars, The Bringer of War"), eerie choral voices, and even bird sounds to create a strange, grim, otherworldly ambience. Likewise, "Charmer And The Half Beast: Amano Jyaku" further uses dissonance and strange scales alongside quasi-industrial noises and creepy synth, forming a throbbing, threatening electro-dirge mixed with pop melodies to totally throw you off kilter before it explodes into another blast of 16-bit action music. Then there’s the growling ghastly dronescapes of "Suikakuju's Rebirth", while the expansive, cinematic dark ambience of the main theme "Legend Of The Overfiend" is skillfully-crafted texture. One of my favorite tracks is "Oceanic Overlord", which crosses between cyberpunk synth and something resembling an Akira Ifukube kaiju score. Wild, wild shit.


Track Samples:
Sample : Urotsukidoji OST - Oceanic Overlord
Sample : Urotsukidoji OST - Birth of the Overfiend
Sample : Urotsukidoji OST - Battle Among the Skyscrapers
Sample : Urotsukidoji OST - A New World


SUNLESS  Ylem  CD   (Willowtip)   14.99
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FORNACE  Deep Melancholic Wrath  CD   (Paragon)   9.99
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I've listened to previous Fornace albums here and there, the band goes back to around 2000 but have only released three albums to date; the previous stuff I've heard was a solid mixture of black and death metal centered around dark atmopsherics and catchy but malevolent riffs, drawing somewhat from the Hellenic field of pioneers like Varathron, Rotting Christ and (to a lesser extent) Necromantia. Over the yearss this Italian band developed a fairly straightforward approach to their brand of barbarous blackened violence, but Fornace always manage to throw a curveball into their listening experience that makes 'em one of the more interesting bands that I've picked up recently from the Paragon catalog. 2018's Wrath

The sheer diversity of the epic-length songs and the intricate assemblage of it all hints at an underlying progginess, but it's overshadowed by the immensity of the hypnotically repetitive passages, sharply skillful transitions, all flowing deliberately and fluidly; this easily lines up as the best album Fornace has delivered so far.

But you wouldn'y\t know it from the first song...

That opening song had me glowing. You see a title like "Experience The Joy Of Unhappiness" and you think you have a mopefest coming your way, but this first song is actually a rather unpected burst of super-catchy blackened jangle, all instrumental, huge grandiose major chords roaring in the dying twilight, the main chord progressions having that infectious punk quality that Ghost Kommando, Wóddréa Mylenstede and some of the Peste Noir stuff has, a quirky melodicism that flies in the face of the album's visual aesthetics yet works ferrociously as a kicker to this hour-long nocturnal rite, the song sounding like some kind of weirdly catchy energy and guitar sound that evokes early Dinosaur Jr. or Husker Du, but most definitely filtered through an abrasive, distorted, blackened aggression. The closer follows suit, "Her Beauty In Those Days" sprawling out it's strange dismal mid-paced blackened rock and alternating it with faster sections that center around the song's main melodic hook; it's "poppy" enough that I'm pretty sure fans of stuff like Alcest and Lantlos would dig the hell out of it, but doesn't sacrifice those snarling, despairing shrieks and rampaging double bass and massive amp-rumbling power. I'm a HUGE fan of stuff like this. When they break down into some of their more rocking mid-tempo sections on other songs like "Bare" and "Morti", and "Under The Bright Cursed Star" , you continue to hear a little more of that unusual open-chord melodicism, only soaked more fully and deeply into the surrounding frost-charred intensity, that vaguely "punky" stripped-down energy that bores its many earworms into your head, often fading into the distance. Another standout is "La Notte Dei Morti", were the rhythm section come to the fore and lock on this hypnotic groove that features some almost Bauhaus-esque bass guitar, everything awash in muted sheets of guitar glaze, before the band abruptly whips themselves back up into another whirlwind of heart-rending blast. But that first song, man, it's a banger.

I'm definitely a big fan of Fornace's guitar sound, it adds a nicely unique aspect to their white-hot ferocity. It's all just so goddamn catchy.


Track Samples:
Sample : Her Beauty In Those Days
Sample : La Notte Dei Morti
Sample : Experience The Joy Of Unhappiness


MSBR + BLAZEN Y SHARP  Dirty Knobby  7" VINYL   (Genderless Kibbutz)   5.99
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Another artifact dredged from the underground noise scene of the late 90s, this collab between the sadly missed MSBR, a titan of the original Japanese harsh noise field, and the more obscure Blazen Y Sharp,

seems like this was one of two collabs on Kibbutz , the other titled "MSBR & Blazen Y Sharp - Mass For Dead Insects"....I gotta track that down, STAT

Although it's a mere five minutes of sound and presented on a blue marble 7" with just the one side, this recording is sublime. Amid the natural crackle and hiss of the needle on vinyl, the EP unfolds a field of junk metal shimmer and distant grinding sounds into something that gradually begins to take on the aspect of some post-nuke orchestra of percussionists akin to a traditional taiko drumming squad, thunderous in the depths of a compromised public safety shelter, clanking and rumbling percussion building in intensity and volume and power, laying out a huge, muscular groove that shifts between actual drum-like sounds and strange metal-on-metal clang, violent metallic battery and rumble, which dominates almost the whole a-side until it begins to disappear into a ghostly blur of distant voices, drifting feedback, crackling noise. Peals of feedback ring out, mysterious conversations, whirling clunkering noises all teem together in this low-fi peice that slowly fades away into nothingness. I'm not used to hearing anything from MSBR that leans towards this sort of quiet, creepy minimal clatter, but it's a great piece. Almost feels more like something from Z'ev, or one of the Finnish ritual ambient shamans.

Unfortunately, we lost Gender-Less Kibbutz label owner John Sharp himself several years ago, a real loss to both those who knew him and loved him, and the wider underground experimental music scene at large. Sharp's curation with this label was strange and inspired, and there are records in his back-catalog that will make you feel as if you've been rocketed off to some other planet. His work, with not just this release, but all of GK's output, is a materialized labor of love, and a manifestation of aural power. Can't recommend this label's output enough to those of you who live and breathe extreme noise.



WALDCHENGARTEN  Electric Bonding  CD   (Desolation House)   9.99
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SEVEN HEADED SERPENT  Ophidian Mysteries 2021-2023  CASSETTE   (Crucial Blast)   9.00
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The Ophidian Mysteries: Demos 2021-2023 cassette is a collection of all of the previously digital-only demo recordings from this outrageously cacophonic bestial noisecore outfit, along with a sixth, previously unreleased demo that appears here for the first time. Seven Headed Serpent came to me like a message from the ether; or maybe I had just Google-searched the words "bestial noisecore” and this band was the first thing to pop up. Either way, this Texan outfit spews out a very specific mélange of ultra-violent anti-musical filth that I've been looking for. The only thing in the vicinity of this is the similarly-monikered "bestial” noisecore of Acwelan, but there are clear distinctions between the two bands, save for their intention to rip the listener to pieces. Over the course of nearly three years, Seven Headed Serpent has been steadily issuing short, absurdly brutal blasts of noisecore via their Bandcamp page and disseminated through shady Youtube channels every few months. That first time that I hit "play" on their debut Awakened From Ancient Slumber demo, I was enthralled: here was the spastic bastard vision of venomous scum-blurr that I'd been searching out, an eerie and relentlessly hyper-violent maelstrom chopped up in twenty-second micro-blasts, an unholy fusion of early Oath Of Black Blood Beherit and demo-era Von style minimalism, and the old-school hyper-speed noisecore laid down by the likes of Sore Throat, Seven Minutes of Nausea, and Anal Cunt.

There's already a strain of noisecore-adjacent chaos that you can find in the "war metal" underground, but nothing like Seven Headed Serpent. The combination of improvisational pandemonium, ludicrous machine-gun blast tempos, and gruesome, bone-gargling vocalizations turns each one the band's demos into a bizarre ritualistic experience. Track after track of almost industrial-esque drum machine disorder and hideous, inhuman vocals are splattered with effects to the point of psychedelic meltdown, and yet you'll hear these "songs" sometimes drop into a crushing bass-heavy groove for a moment, or a more mid-paced Conqueror-like blast that jerks you out of the insanity. Those vocals from main member R. (aka Ryan Wilson of Intestinal Disgorge, The Howling Void, and Pneuma Hagion) can be seriously unsettling, veering between an echo-laden animalistic roar and disturbing whispers, garbled guttural shrieks and trippy incantations. Freakish electronics and blots of distorted nonsense blur with extreme anti-riffery and indecipherable guitar skree. Flatulent machinery collides with severely bestial grunts and bursts of insane guitar shred, while something akin to the sound of limbs being ripped from a torso keep emerging in the back of the mix. That drum machine element is strongest on the earlier demos, as from Naas on , R. was joined by drummer Polwach Beokhaimook who brought a less mechanical, more car-crash style blast attack to the Serpent's maniac slime-meditations; anyone familiar with Beokhaimook's work in key gorenoise outfits like Cystgurgle and Vomitoma will recognize the additional free-form percussive confusion and inhuman speeds that he brings to this mangled sonic abomination.

At this point it should be clear that if you are looking for "music", well, don't look here. This is base primitive chaos, an attack of acute, depraved disorder. I can't get enough of it. But what there is, it's all here. The Awakened From Ancient Slumber, Upheaval , Naas , Withering Storms of Howling Death , and Unleashed demos are all presented in chronological order, with the final set of recordings being Reckoning, a previously unreleased nine-track "demo" recorded in January 2023 and exclusive to this release.

This edition of Ophidian Mysteries: Demos 2021-2023 comes on red cassettes with full-color artwork, and includes a brief set of liner notes from C-Blast scribe A. Allbright.


Track Samples:
Sample : Withering Storms of Howling Death XI
Sample : Unleashed VIII
Sample : Reckoning III
Sample : Upheaval IX
Sample : Naas II
Sample : Awakened From Ancient Slumber XVI


CATHEDRAL  The Carnival Bizarre  CD + DVD   (Earache)   15.99
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Limited 2008 two disc (CD + NTSC/Region 0 DVD) release of the Metal band's third album including a bonus DVD (entitled Our God Has Landed) that contains a live show from 1992 plus eight promo video clips. Originally released in 1995, Carnival Bizarre proved to be arguably the defining document for the band. The album bridges the gap between the gritty Doom of the band's earliest recordings with the vibrant catchiness and quirkiness which became the band's trademark. Cathedral were formed by ex-Napalm Death vocalist Lee Dorrian and ex-Acid Reign guitarist Garry Jennings. Features a guest appearance by Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi on 'Utopian Blaster'. The package comes housed in a double CD jewel case and offers an essential slice of Metal history in one complete audiovisual set. 23 tracks.

" - label description


Track Samples:
Sample : CATHEDRAL-The Carnival Bizarre
Sample : CATHEDRAL-The Carnival Bizarre
Sample : CATHEDRAL-The Carnival Bizarre


NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THE DEAD THINK  self-titled  CD   (Willowtip)   14.99
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ALLIN, GG  Volume II: 1981 - 1988  CASSETTE   (TPOS)   7.99
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So if you're a rabid GG vinyl collector, there's a good chance that you already have at least most of the EP material gathered together on this cassette, although as I’ll mention momentarily, there's is some rare shit here that even I hadn't come across before. This TPOS tape is a total anomaly. Purported to be a collection of "singles" from Allin's various incarnations throughout the 1980s (although the actual release dates of these EPs frequently date beyond 1990), I haven't been able to find any concrete information on this specific tape anywhere. That said, this is a bulldozer of Allin's signature scatological punk, with some stunningly brain-blasting versions plucked out of the rotting compost heap that is his studio discography.

The EP material is smeared across both sides: live recordings of "Dirge" and "Dog Shit" that I think came off of the extremely rare Sickest of The Sick 10", recorded live at Kisha's in Berkeley, CA, on March 17, 1989. That track here titled "Dirge" (which might also be known as "Jesus & Mothers Cunt", but I'm not 100% on that) is one of my fave GG freak-outs, a murky mess of stumbling doped-out freeform punk-sludge / noise-dirge a la Kilslug or Flipper with some demented Greg Ginn-esque guitar skronk whipping everything into a bloody heap, while GG rants and drools and grunts his murderously anti-social and blasphemous stream-of-conscious madness, an almost improvisational meltdown from the whole band; it's a beast, definitely one of the more fucked -up and outre GG Allin jams from the era. The other tune follows some in-the-moment discussion from GG, before we get nuked in the face by a shambling, pissed-off "Dog Shit" that sounds like GG has something crammed down his trachea. Gnarly. Another berserk live recording features "Diarrhea Blues", "Drink Fight And Fuck", "Cock On The Loose" and "Out For Blood" which all appear to be taken from the 1990 Live...Carolina In My Ass 7" that came out on Repo Records. The band sounds a little more demented than usual, rocking out a grueling head-on collision of stomping caveman skuzz and brain-damaged blues-punk boogie, head-bobbon' buzzsaw anthemic HC, some almost Oi!-esque "Cock"-action that is subversively catchy. Blown out and low-fi but completely psychotic, this definitely sounds like a show that I would've killed to be at. Bonus points for the entire additional venue chatter where people are dealing with the aftermath.

One of my favorite GG Allin EPs is the one he did with Bulge, "Legalize Murder", "Suck My Ass (It Smells)", "Interior Depths" all coming off the Fudgeworthy Legalize Murder 7" from 1990. Again, sound quality is brittle and harsh, which makes the bat-shit guitar shredding and wood chipper riffs all the better; ferocious speed violence smashing against the noisecore-style nonsense of "Ass" and a radio cue and the barbaric sample -laden and spoken-word-draped industrial dirge-crush of "Depths" that rivals anything from Brainbombs or Nearly Dead or Rectal Hygeniacs, awesome free flowing hate filled misanthropic prose-poetry smeared against the most abrasive kind of avant-hardcore shit-feast. Oh boy. That's tailed by the more straightfo0rward skull-caving punk rock of the 1991 versions of "Violence Now" and "Cock On The Loose" that make up the GG Allin / Antiseen collab 7" on Jettison; better productions and thicker mix doesn't detract from the blinding ugliness of this one bit. And the final track "Fartmaster" is (I think) off the Penis Rising 10" released in '91, which had Allin collaborating to various extents with the Bulge dudes again; it's a pounding sing-a-long that really makes you feel alive again.

I did an obscene amount of research on this tape with make heads and tails of what this material is sourced from, so hopefully this breaks down exactly what 7" releases are gathered here. Such is the case with a lot of these old GG tape compilations. That said, this definitely fucked me up in more ways than one. Uncut, unexpurgated transgression.



INTEGRITY / KRIEG  split (BLACK VINYL)  LP   (Relapse)   15.99
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SAVAGE REPUBLIC  Tragic Figures: 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition  2 x LP   (Real Gone Music)   26.99
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Colossal 2022 reissue

The LP is available on red vinyl in a pressing of 2000 copies, packaged in a particularly striking gatefold jacket.

Hailing from a window of time in the 1980s when bands, partuclarly American ones, were taking the influence of paradigm-shifting post-punk like Public Image Ltd., Joy Division, Wire and Gang Of Four into more harrowing, aggressive, abject dimensions, the earliest Savage Republic music is dark and mesmeric and harsh on their debut album Tragic Figures from 1982. Along with the influence of the screeching atonality and anti-social skronk of the NYC No Wave crowd, this music also leeched some of the primal percussive power and dystopic deliria of the burgeoning post-industrial music scene, and found Savage Republic (for awhile at least) creating an abrasive clamor and more menacing attitude that would get comparisons, then and now, to other early 80s street-beaters like Swans and Big Black. I ended up discovering Savage Republic way later in life, which is aggravating; if I had heard this in my teens when I was utterly obsessed with Swans and the early proto-noise rock underground, Tragic Figures would've been rumbling out of my bedroom at all hours of day and night. When I finally had someone shove this record under my nose several years ago, it was kinda revelatory. This stuff was heavy, not in the metallic sense of course, but heavy in mood and 'tude, more aggressive and acerbi9c than what I might have expected to hear.

That cover image of Iranian military forces executing Kurdish rebels in 1979

On the first side, the music is tilted towards more of an instrumental breakout - the metal-on-metal percussive frenzy comes on strong as opener "When All Else Fails" bursts forth like a crazed protest assault, an array of rattling, stomping, clanking rhythms laid over each other while heavy bass and chugging distorted guitar grind out simple, sludgy, skull-mashing riffs. That wild rebeliious energy burns brightly throughout the album, from the aggressive tribal beats and menacing two-chord muck-punk of "Attempted Coup : Madagascar Percussion", the winding spiky guitar and multi-level polyrhtyms that energize "The Ivory Coast" as it rumbles and shakes, those sinister No Wave influences merging with that relentless syncopated drive on "Next To Nothing", on to the clanking industrial drone rock raga of the back-to-back "Exodus" and "Machinery" (whose pissed-off hardcore punk-style vocal delivery summons vivid visions of our slow moving apocalypse), te super-short ritual loop "Zulu Zulu ", that crumbling mass of distortion, gnarly bass riffage, and burgeoning violence that underscores the satirical "Real Men". This stuff gets even more unnerving towards the end as anguished shrieks ring out over "Flesh That Walks"'s feral racket and cannibal manifestos. "Kill The Fascists!" is a pretty straightfoward junkyard symphony (recorded in the underground tunnels beneath UCLA) that speaks pretty clearly for itself, but it all drifts into oblivion when closer "Procession" disassembles the band's sounds into a hypnotizing haze..

It's all quite noisy and abrasive, paerticularly from the guitar, whose peformance delivers a tetanus-infected shock of slashing droning strings, burly and bass-heavy slow-motion power chord dirges, gusts of atonal skree, and some straight-up brain damaged shredding that takes me to some kind of malfunctioning nirvana state.

- this is clearly the stuff that critic Robert Christgau was talking about in his old review of the album where he described Tragic as resembling "Flipper doing Afropop originals?".

Obviously fans of the more abject and twisted end of experimental sludge-punk are going to find some real meta to chew on here, if there was anything even close to a modern analogue to Savage Republic's early urban-conflict wardance it might be that Billy Bao stuff; there's no way that those guys weren't luistening to this stuff on repeat.

The other disc pulls all of the pre-Savage Republic recordings together, from when the group called themselves Africa Corps and recorded their music in UCLA area parking garages. And man, this stuff is great! Most of these tracks have never before been released; the majority of these songs were carried over onto the Savage debut ("Attempted Coup : Madagascar", "When All Else Fails", "Real Men", etc.), but here they sound even more immediate and cacophonic, record live together in a group frenzy, all of the heavy sludge-punk riffs even grungier and filthier here, the guitar's barbed-wire post-punk/No Wave-influenced raga-like drones and sharp biting chords and angry discordant scrapes pushed further up in the mix. There is so much clank and glass and pipe-banging mixed up with the trance-inducing drumming that it sweeps over your senses, random yelling and raging and howling in the background behind the main vocalist (momentarily reminding me of the most aggro moments from Cro-Magnon), with these general feeling of hysteria and anxiety and flailing hostility being unleashed.

Some of these songs only appear here, like the fleeting junk-freakout "The Vampire Bites ", the severely bizarre experimental tape-music spewed across "Next To Nothing Weirdness", and amazing ectatsic freeform explosions like "Thee Three Preserves" and "Sliding Into Arabia" with their imposing, crudely formed melodies informed by Middle Eastern scales

the eleven minute version of "Procession (Into The Light)" is completely mesmerizing, just an endless tribal rhythm delivered to a state of __________________

and the burlier, murkier version of "Exodus" that whips up a spectacular drone-rock mantra

I think that the "Tragic Figures" recordings of all of this are superior in the end, but hearing the musicians working out their ideas and attack together sounds great on this preface recording, definitely a recommended listen for fans of what the band would quickly evolve into


Track Samples:
Sample : Flesh That Walks
Sample : Machinery
Sample : Attempted Coup: Madagascar


DISCORDANCE AXIS  Jouhou (Reissue)  CD   (Willowtip)   14.99
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TOMBHAMMER  Sprecher des Omnibus der Ewigkeit  CASSETTE   (Crucial Blast)   9.00
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For nearly a decade, Gregorio Franco has been a steadily rising force in the field of dark, aggressive synthesizer music, producing some of the most innovative and full-on heavy "synth metal" you're gonna find in the underground music scene. One of the most prominent faces in the field of what is generally referred to as darksynth, Franco has traversed similar dystopian badlands as Carpenter Brut and Perturbator. But where he deviates is the unique addition of an impenitent death metal influence; where other contemporary synth artists are often content to peddle the same 'ol pastel-hued VHS-era aesthetics and "outrun" sounds, Franco injects bulldozing guitar tones reminiscent of Bolt Thrower and the Swedish death metal underground, alongside an ultra heavy electro-bass attack and brutalizing rhythmic power that's directly descended from industrial metal's most violent drum programming. Franco's music feels more suited to a war zone than a dance floor, and in fact has the ability to turn one into the other. And his creative flow is endless; along with a multitude of albums and EPs that stretch back to 2013, his Bandcamp account is constantly updated with unique covers of synth-pop classics and video game soundtracks alike.

Under the Tombhammer banner, Franco now expands his sound into even deeper, heavier territory. His electronic influences are obvious, at their core consistently paying homage to the classic sounds of early John Carpenter, vintage Tangerine Dream / Klaus Schulze, and the darkest of neon-drenched 80s-era film soundtracks. But with Tombhammer, Franco further incorporates a specific side of his metal background for the project. Heavily informed by the tone and feel of Nightfall-era Candlemass, the lugubrious funeral doom of Australia's Mournful Congregation, and the peculiar blackened orchestrations and apocalyptic resonance of Urfaust circa-Verräterischer, Nichtswürdiger Geist and Geist ist Teufel, Franco's guitar work and songcraft evokes the tangled black roots of graveyard trees, the blinding glare of a nuclear-red sun at twilight, the oceanic emptiness of an uncaring omniverse, and the deepest abysses of human grief. This stuff is genuinely heart-wrenching with its cold, dark beauty and oppressive emotional depth. Somber. Sonorous. Man, these songs moved me.

Pairing the song "Sprecher des Omnibus der Ewigkeit" from the online digital demo MMXXIII with a brand-new exclusive B-side track "Bereiche Magischen Leids", this EP is the official debut release from the mighty Tombhammer. Together, it almost feels like part of a score to a previously unknown Panos Cosmatos film. The first, ""Sprecher" (roughly translated from the German to "Speaker of the Omnibus of Eternity"), stretches out to the razor-thin light dying on the horizon line, immediately casting you into a sumptuous and billowing cloud of black- fluorescent synthesizer. When that riff comes in, the complimentary effect is crushing. I was in love with this as soon as it kicked in. Cinematic synth-doom? Soaring, darkly romantic doomwave? Forget all that, "Sprecher" simply pulverizes with a perfect blending of electronic texture and bone-smashing doom. Somewhere, some film director should be scrambling to find Franco's contact info because this is one of the best unmade film scores I've ever heard. The middle section where the cinderblock guitars die away and we are adrift in clouds of swirling ashen particulate? Gorgeous. The moment when that devastator of a riff comes flowing back in like a river of black magma? Punishing. This instrumental crush is as emotionally weighted and mournfully ethereal as the best late 80s / early 90s UK / European doom metal, and just as memorable. The B-side "Bereiche Magischen Leids" was recorded exclusively for this EP release, and shifts the experience more towards the electronic side of the spectrum. It is just as cyclopean in scope. Again, a curtain is dropped on an immense black void, luminous drones driving into the infinite, a menacing guitar melody uncoiling in the depths. A synth-drenched hint of Peaceville-style slow-motion dread sprawling outward, everywhere. And it builds. And builds. Attracting molten matter to the slow spinning iron core and amassing itself into a kind of ambient metal spheroid, swirling black guitar drone and eerie doom-laden melody and grinding synth all bearing down on you like the shadow of a newly birthed black sun. An amorphous elegy as counterpart to the previous trudge through majestic misery.

It rolls over you, somewhat like the darker work of Jóhann Jóhannsson, seeded with the glacial melodic style of guitarist Andrew Craighan. One hell of a debut.


Track Samples:
Sample : Sprecher des Omnibus der Ewigkeit
Sample : Bereiche Magischen Leids


SCATMOTHER / CHAOS CASCADE  The Insignificance Of Human Life  CD   (Dunkelheit Produktionen)   17.99
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BAD BRAINS  Soul Music For Bad People  7" VINYL   (Mumboclaat Records)   9.99
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Track Samples:
Sample : How Low Can A Punk Get?
Sample : Re-Ignition


SLEEP  Dopesmoker (2023 Edition)  2 x LP   (Third Man Records)   30.00
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The latest (circa 2023) reissue of Sleep's stoner-drone-metal masterpiece comes to us from Third Man, who was also behind their last full length album The Sciences. This new edition has been remastered for all formats (I don't have the time to do a side by side between this and the Southern Lord version, but rest assured it sounds massive), and has been issued with what the label describes as a "deep cut", the nearly nine-minute "Hot Lava Man" which I think only appeared previously as a live cut on the 2003 Gilman St - Berkley, CA 2/21/92 CD, and is completely exclusive to the Third Man Records edition (which I'm sure will drive some Sleep completists right up the goddamn wall, seeing as how this album has appeared in like five thousand different iterations). So here's what I had to say about the main album track from the prior edition, with an additional look at the new bonus jam:

The umpteenth release of one of sludge metal's most legendary albums, the 2012 reissue of Sleep's classic Dopesmoker album offers a new re-mastering, new (and improved, in my opinion) artwork from Arik Roper, and a different bonus track from the previous edition released by Tee Pee back in 2003. Most doom fans know that this album itself is an alternate release of the ill-fated Jerusalem that famously was supposed to have been released by the major label London Records back in the 90s, but ended up being shelved for years due to the label's complete loss of interest in the release. It was later resurrected at the end of the decade, and an alternate version titled Dopesmoker emerged at the beginning of the 2000s, which has gone on to become the band's (and fan’s) preferred version of the album. Listening to Dopesmoker again, it's easy to see why this has become such a landmark of slow-motion metal.

Sprawling out for just over an hour, this titanic tar pit jam winds through a maze of gluey riffs and thunderous hypnotic tempos, shifting from a leaden crawl to quicker (but still pulverizing) grooves every couple of minutes. It's hardly a one-riff slogfest; just take a look at the copy of the band's ridiculous "charts" that's included on the insert - how these guys could manage to keep track of what they were doing and where they were going while smoking as much dope as they did is nothing short of amazing. The trio of Al Cisneros, Chris Hakius and Matt Pike crafted a towering monument to explorational heaviness on this album, pushing past the boundaries of Black Sabbath's dread-filled doom into more ecstatic regions of molten psychedelia and tectonic drone. All through the lumbering lava-like riffing and trance-like repetition of "Dopesmoker", you can hear the seeds of the meditational hypno-rock that Cisneros and Hakius would go on to develop with Om, and the bone-rattling guitar tone, chant-like bellow and molten war-riffage of Matt Pike (later of High On Fire) was fully formed here. The religious references and reverence for the Leaf were another aspect of Sleep's music and presentation that would be later adopted by a million stoner-doom wannabes, but here it feels unique.

Utterly essential. I can't imagine any serious doom metal/sludge fan not having this in their collection.

And then the new 2023 bonus song, "Hot Lava Man". Recorded at the Razor’s Edge Studio in San Francisco in 1992, this is a never-before-released studio recording of the band's obscure early tune, showing up for the first time ever on the Third Man reissue. How is it? Well, it's heavy as hell, no surprise. And it sure does sound like it was recorded back in the primordial days of Sleep, with a raw, blown-out production that makes the Sabbathian riff-o-rama sound meaner and more messed-up. It's a solid Sleep jam, gigantic down-tuned droning riffage with some of Pike's psychedelic soloing snaking around the lutching riff changes. The second half transforms into more up-tempo spaced-out lysergic slo-mo-boogie, more in line with the sort of American doom metal these dudes were listening to at the time (think anything on the Hellhound label in 1992) than the more form-exploding experimental power of "Dopesmoker" itself. But man, is this a mega-stomper for sure.

Double LP edition has the same Arik Roper jacket art (but with the band logo presented as a sticker on the shrinkwrap) and a slightly modified layout, produced in a case-wrapped gatefold jacket that includes printed inner sleeves and a poster.


Track Samples:
Sample : SLEEP-Dopesmoker (2023 Edition)
Sample : SLEEP-Dopesmoker (2023 Edition)
Sample : Hot Lava


RUDIMENTARY PENI  Death Church (2022 Reissue)  CD   (Sealed Records)   12.99
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New (2022) remastered reissue of the classic deathrock debut Death Church, presented in jewel case CD and on vinyl in big foldout poster sleeve. Here's my write-up, slightly edited, of the previous Outer Himalayan edition :

This classic slab of macabre Lovecraftian avant-punk is available again, remastered from the original tapes. Like the other recent Peni reissues, this is essential for anyone into dark, macabre punk, early death-rock, and occult-obsessed hardcore.

It would be very hard to overstate just how influential these albums have been on an entire class of bands that followed in their wake, and you can now hear echoes of Rudimentary Peni's spiky, angular punk and bubbling madness lingering on albums from all kinds of hardcore punk, avant-rock and even black metal bands. They have always been grouped in with the early 80's anarcho-punk scene that flourished in Britain, but aside from their early connections with the band Crass (having released their 1982 Farce 7" on Crass Records), Rudimentary Peni had very little in common both musically and thematically with most of the other punk bands that they were associated with. Their music was so much darker and more enigmatic than almost anything else happening in British punk at the time, with much of the unique sound and vibe coming from front-man Nick Blinko, a visionary lyricist and artist who has struggled with mental illness and long periods of hospitalization throughout the bands entire career, and who brought his increasingly deranged visions of disturbing deformed characters, rampant paranoia, and withered horrors to the bands music, drawing influence from the works of H.P Lovecraft and the occult. For fans of dark, outre punk rock, the Rudimentary Peni records are absolutely essential; all three of the band's albums are crucial slabs of twisted, menacing rock, and even their EPs are minor masterpieces of macabre weirdness. They've never put out a bad record, and I actually think that their more recent stuff, while heavier and different from their classic early records, is just as amazing as their earliest, most legendary recordings. All are classic albums of malevolent weirdo punk, presented with complete lyrics and lots of Blinko's amazing obsessive pen-and-ink artwork.

Like I've mentioned at length in my write-ups of the reissues of Archaic, Cacophony and Pope Adrian 37th Psychristiatric, Rudimentary Peni are one of my all time favorite bands from the 80's British punk underground, a band that was often associated with the UK anarcho-punk scene but who was in fact off on some weird cosmic-horror-tinged death-rock trip that was totally unlike anything else going on at the time. The band's debut album Death Church was wholly unique when it came out in '83, from front man Nick Blinko's nightmarish, obsessively detailed black and white album art to the bizarre song writing and morbid atmosphere that hangs over the bands music. The macabre pogo power of the opening song introduces Death Church's relentless buzzsaw punk assault, leading the charge for these twenty-one tracks of ripping rocking mid-tempo angular deathpunk, the songs comprised of simple four-chord riffs twisted into sinister angular hooks, the bass guitar bouncing like Peter Hook on cheap crank, Blinko's howling vocals the closest he ever came to a traditional hardcore-style delivery. The whole album has its gnarled and blackened roots digging deep into the rotting carcass of early 80s hardcore, but this ended up sounding unlike anything else in punk at the time thanks to Blinko's demented lyrical visions and bizarre artwork and the band's ferocious, pounding hypnotic buzzbomb punk. On some of these songs, the band even reveals a weird sort of proto-black metal sound on tracks like "Poppycock", with its furious tremolo picking and speedy assault; for fans of the current wave of blackened punk outfits like Malveillance, Bone Awl and the like, there are moments on Death Church that could possibly provide an epiphany. That signature strain of Peni weirdness abounds, of course, with some of their punk-shanty stuff showing up on other tracks like "Vampire State Building" and the sepulchral shimmy of "Flesh Crucifix", all infested with bizarre squealing cries and the dank stink of the tomb. Can't recommend this album enough.



THEOLOGIAN  Before My Flesh Was Torn By The World  CDR   (Annihilvs)   7.99
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BOAR  You Will Never Be Happy  CDR   (Breaching Static)   7.99
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Track Samples:
Sample : Slick
Sample : Becoming Nature One Pill at a Time
Sample : Summing Up Everything That Went Wrong


SLOGUN  The Glory Of Murder  CD   (Bloodlust!)   12.99
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TREPANERINGSRITUALEN  Deathward, To The Womb  LP   (Cold Spring)   23.98
Deathward, To The Womb IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

      Newly reissued on both CD (which we'll have in stock in a few weeks) and vinyl (available now) via Cold Spring - this vinyl edition is limited to five hundred copies and comes on 180 gram wax with a download card featuring additional bonus material; along with the complete album, the download includes the track "I Remember When I Was God", a collaboration with Michael Idehall and members of Arktau Eos, Bölzer, Aether, and Hadewych. Here's our original review from 2012:

      One of the latest releases from this Scandinavian master of diseased occult industrial, Deathward To The Womb originally came out on 10" vinyl from Release The Bats and has since sold out from the label; it appears that we snagged the last available copies of this fearsome death-rite.

      Beginning with the incredibly thick and suffocating death-drift of "The Birth Of Babalon", Trepaneringsritualen wastes no time in unleashing its oppressive graveyard ambience, laying massive slabs of rotted noise and low-end rumble across distant, barely perceptible rhythms that feel like war-drums pounding from deep below the earth's surface, while deep, slurred vocals slowly ooze over the ghoulish soundscape, drenched in delay and black tar. It just gets creepier and more sinister as it progresses, heading into the bleak lightless depths of the title track, a monstrous death industrial dirge in the classic Cold Meat vein doused in blackness, filled with deep rumbling drones and evil guttural incantations, high wailing tones that come screeching through the void, and a slithering doom-laden bass line and distant percussive rattling and clanking that builds upon the already unnerving atmosphere of inescapable death. The side closes with a real knockout, the lurching death-dub nightmare "Osiris, Slain & Risen" that smears all sorts of hallucinatory effects over a deep, sinister bass-groove.

      "She Is Flame Of Life" opens the b-side with more grim electro-throb, a pulsating distorted synthesizer drone a la Genocide Organ that worms its way through a fog of moaning demons, swells of minor-key creep, and blood-encrusted machinery slowly revving to life. A more ritualistic feel (though no less horrific in tone) permeates the steady percussive pounding and slavering jaws of "Sacrament & Crucifixion", where foul Evil Dead-like voices call out from behind a veil of rot. The closer is one of Trepaneringsritualen's most rhythmic tracks, a pounding graveyard celebration called "All Hail The Black Flame" that blends thick cloying smears of black noise with ecstatic roars of bloodlust and booming, dubbed-out tribal drums that recalls the groovier moments of MZ.412. Only this is awash in enough exhumed filth to give you strychnine poisoning.



MURDEROUS VISION  Engines & Disciples  CDR   (Annihilvs)   11.98
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One of the premier American death industrial artists, Stephen Petrus and his long-running death industrial project Murderous Vision has been producing some of the blackest industrial driftscapes in the field since the late 90s. The latest from the Cleveland-area artist is Engines & Disciples, his first new full length in two years, a sweeping nine-track descent into rumbling jet-black factory cities, smoke-shrouded death dirges crawling through a vast subterranean world lit only by the dull glow of some dying nether-sun.

Tracks like "Nightmare Made Flesh And Bone (Part One)" wash across the album in waves of blackened synthdrift and ominous drone, a kind of jet-black electronic ambience strafed with distant metallic noises and obscured rhythmic currents, vast and heavy and malevolent, laced with the groan of steel girders and swells of orchestral murk, with strange, almost ritualistic vocalizations that murmur up out of the depths. It recalls the bleakest 70's space music and the most cinematic strains of post-industrial dark ambience, resounding with the occasional thud of rhythmic hammering upon the walls of some monstrous metallic chamber. Sounds swell and surge across each track, shifting from a vast Lustmordian heaviness to a seething dreamlike fog of nightmare chaos, the more abrasive noise found on tracks like "Peeling Away Necrotic Flesh" at the meeting place between squealing electronics streaking over swirling oceans of static, and fragments of moody melody obscured within the thick fog of distortion. Engines continues to move between that gorgeous dark ambience and the harsher noisescapes, gleaming kosmische electronics drifting through the abyss, the distorted pounding of drums echoing through the depths, parts of this resembling a Tangerine Dream concert taking place within the heart of a rapidly rotting planetoid. Elsewhere Petrus crafts a symphony of shifting sheet-metal that swirls into a reverberant sonic delirium, akin to a more ambient take on K2-style metallic noise. Other tracks unfurl into smoldering sprawls of corrupted electronics and howling abyssal winds, ominous noisescapes that glimmer with buried, partially glimpsed melodies and creepy sepulchral synth noises, opening into ravenous black overmodulated dronescapes. One of the album's standout tracks is "Immaculate Deception", a crushing industrial dirge weighted with downtuned metallic bass riffs and a rumbling percussive undertow buried beneath a storm of droning electronics and distortion, like some cacophonic industrial metal outfit bleeding through a wall of machine noise, which gets even more harrowing as the ultra-distorted verbal hate of guest vocalist Andrew Grant (The Vomit Arsonist) is unleashed across the track. Creepy, dense and psychedelic, this is one of the most evil sounding Murderous Vision albums the project has brought us. Comes in digipack packaging designed by Andre Coelho of Sektor 304.


Track Samples:
Sample : MURDEROUS VISION-Engines & Disciples
Sample : MURDEROUS VISION-Engines & Disciples
Sample : MURDEROUS VISION-Engines & Disciples


BELL WITCH  Demo 2011  12"   (The Flenser)   19.99
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     The early throes of one of the best doom metal bands around right now. Right on the hells of their terrific new album Four Phantoms comes this vinyl reissue of the Seattle band's 2011 demo, on black vinyl with a printed inner sleeve, featuring a slightly revised layout and a more durable jacket than the previous version that came out from the German label Psychic Assault. Featuring four tracks that sprawl out for more than a half-hour of atmospheric, achingly beautiful heaviness, the band's demo has some material that would end up getting reworked for their first album Longing ("Beneath The Mask" and "I Wait"). But then there's also the two tracks that only appeared here, "Mayknow" and ""The Moment", which makes this pretty desirable for those of us infatuated with the duo's brand of crushing, melancholic doom.

     Even as far back as this demo, these guys were utilizing their spare palette of drums, bass guitar and vocals to utterly massive effect; on the instrumental "Mask", the mournful, low-end notes slowly drift around the samples from Corman's Masque Of The Red Death, opening the demo with its dreary, almost Codeine-like slowcore that leads straight into the thunderous "I Wait". These early versions are just a little more stripped down than the album versions, slightly grittier and more molten in their wall-rattling delivery, but just as suffocating heavy. The exclusive b-side songs, on the other hand, are particularly torturous. "Mayknow" is a crawling, abject dirge with some of the most terrifying vocals I've heard from Bell Witch, but will also spit out some wonderfully moody, almost bluesy guitar leads over that skull-flattening doom, and the vocals rising in a sorrowful threnody, almost choral-like as they echo across the elegiac melody that takes over the last half of the song; when they slip from that into the short instrumental closer "The Moment", it's like a clearing of thunderheads, the delicate, almost folky bass melody drifting over the ruined and blasted terrain.

     Issued in a limited run of six hundred copies.



NIGHTSTICK  Ultimatum  CD   (Relapse)   14.98
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GRIEF  Come To Grief  2 x LP   (Alone -Spain-)   28.98
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Track Samples:
Sample : Stricken
Sample : Earthworm
Sample : Bury the Dead [#]


DEATHROW  Deception Ignored (Reissue)  CD   (Noise)   17.99
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CELTIC FROST  Vanity / Nemesis (Deluxe Reissue)  2 x LP   (Noise)   39.99
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CONTROLLED BLEEDING  Body Samples  2 x LP   (Artoffact Records)   40.99
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PSUDOKU  Planetarisk Sudoku  CD   (Selfmadegod)   11.99
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      The return of the cosmic blast-attack. Planetarisk Sudoku is the newest sci-fi damaged spazz-gasm from this interstellar grindcore band headed up by the guy behind Parlamentarisk Sodomi and Brutal Blues, but while the previous album was a solo effort, this one has him teaming up with his Brutal Blues bandmate Anders Hana (also of Noxagt and Ultralyd) to execute his maniacal vision.

The album is essentially divided into two halves: the a-side tears through three tracks in about fifteen minutes, a high-speed splatter of choppy grindcore and insane free-jazz squonk sped up and stitched together into a jarring patchwork of eerie blastprog. As crazy as the debut was, this stuff feels even more complex and convoluted, the staccato guitar riffs slashing and slanting wildly through sprawls of Goblin-esque piano arrangements and swells of soundtracky strings, everything spit out into a maelstrom of abruptly shifting time signatures and extreme stop/start tempo changes that leave bloody skidmarks all over the album. The obvious influences that you could pick out on the first record are a little less in your face here; while the pungent stink of 70's era prog rock a la King Crimson still heavily permeates Psudoku's high-speed grind, all of this stuff comes together much more organically this time around, making for an even weirder listening experience. Big chunks of the album appear to be entirely instrumental, but then there's the bugfuck carnival blast of "NeURONaMO" with it's sputtering gorilla chants, blurts of monstrous nonsense over the whiplash-inducing mix of fucked-up fusiony electronics, discordant riffs and theremin abuse, blaring saxophones splattered against blasting mathy grindcore, resembling some crazed ketamine-sucking version of Behold...The Arctopus. And somehow, they manage to lodge some perversely catchy hooks in amongst this cuisinarted skronk-salad.

      Psudoku momentarily restrain themselves at the outset of the b-side track "PsUDoPX.046245", which takes up the entire side. Opening the song with a few minutes of eerie cosmic ambience, this placid intro allows the eminent extended blast-attack to sneak up on the listener. But also it moves in a different direction from the more grind-style songs on the first side. Here, the band spills out of that initial maelstrom of blastbeats and angular riffing into a twisting labyrinth of creepy prog rock, slipping into a killer Magma-esque instrumental passage for a bit before shifting into some more aggressive math-metal contortions strewn with bizarre vocal gibberish, then from there hurtling through continuously evolving passages of heavy jazz-damaged rock flecked with chilling orchestral ambience and blasts of Zeuhl-style choral voices, continuing to contort and confuse in glorious fashion all the way to the weirdly bright and joyous finale of the track. An absolutely bonkers album, anyone into Naked City, Pryapisme, Colin Marston's various projects, Netjajev SS and similar extreme spazz-attacks will lose their fucking mind upon hearing this...


Track Samples:
Sample : PSUDOKU-Planetarisk Sudoku
Sample : PSUDOKU-Planetarisk Sudoku
Sample : PSUDOKU-Planetarisk Sudoku


FUOCO FATUO  The Viper Slithers In The Ashes Of What Remains  CASSETTE   (Caligari)   5.99
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FULL OF HELL + MERZBOW  Sister Fawn  LP   (A389 Records)   19.99
Sister Fawn IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

      That second disc that appeared with the skull-shredding collaboration between Baltimore grindbeasts Full Of Hell and Japanese noise legend Merzbow has finally made its way to vinyl. That double disc album that originally came out on Profound Lore was one of the fiercest fusions of extreme electronic noise and metallic chaos to come out that year; the Sister Fawn recording that followed the album proper was an interesting shift in sound, transforming the frenzied grindcore into something much more abstract.

      While the Sister Fawn disc was initially presented as something more of a companion piece, it actually holds up wuite nicely as an album all on its own. In fact, I gotta admit I thought this material is even cooler than the first half of their collaboration. Over the course of these five tracks, much of Full Of Hell's screeching grindmetal becomes absorbed into a cacophonous wall of industrial violence, their metallic aggression subsumed into Merzbow's swirling, screeching nebula. The tracks are longer, venturing into pummeling industrial junk-metal rhythms and howling feedback manipulation, blasts of crushing power electronics and more of that abject Swans-esque dirge that appeared on the first half. And squalls of apocalyptic jazz-infected noise erupt across tracks like "Crumbling Ore", delivering an acrid blast of sound that approaches Borbetomagus-like levels of intensity. The grindcore elements are still in here though, particularly on songs like the noise-damaged blast-assault of "Merzdrone" that welds a seemingly endless blastbeat to Merzbow's scorching electronics and shrill skulldrill distortion. The result is ferociously and psychedelic.

      Issued in a one-time pressing of one thousand copies on black vinyl.



VARIOUS ARTISTS  Ancient Meat Revived  CD   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)   10.98
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VARIOUS ARTISTS  Godzilla: The Showa-Era Soundtracks, 1954-1975  18 x LP BOXSET   (Waxwork)   499.99
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SIMONETTI, CLAUDIO  Opera (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)  LP   (Rustblade)   44.98
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WOLF EYES  Dread  CASSETTE   (Wolf Eyes)   9.99
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WINDHAND  self-titled (2023 REISSUE - VIOLET EDITION)  2 x LP   (Relapse)   28.00
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Relapse recently reissued this 2011 masterwork of psychedelic doom, originally out from Forcefield Records. But this revamped 2023 edition of Windhand's dreamy graveyard crawl has undergone a major overhaul, virtually to the point where it's a different release. I listened to my original Forcefield CD and compared it to this, and the re-mastering by the legendary Jack Endino has transformed the sound immensely - it has this huge cavernous depth that's really noticeable to me. I still love the withered, roughened spookiness of the original release, but this one is packing some considerable extra power. Not only that, but both the new CD and vinyl editions of Windhand's eponymous debut feature more than half an hour of bonus material that'll feed the fix for any hardcore Windhand fanatics. And this also features brand new artwork from the masterful Arik Roper, which enfolds the album in an even more ghoulish visual atmosphere.

Here's my original take (lightly edited) on the five-song album proper ("Black Candles", "Libusen", "Heap Wolves", "Summon The Moon", "Winter Sun"):

So, here's where it all started for this remarkably popular doom metal outfit from Richmond, VA. It's easy to see what it is that caught everyone's ear with these folks, though, as Windhand skillfully capture the spirit of classic American doom metal while producing some really well-written songs with real staying power. And of course the presence of lead singer Dorthia Cottrell is a large part of their appeal as well, her bewitching, bluesy voice imbuing these lumbering Sabbathian dirges with a strange and earthy dark magick. They've received all kinds of accolades from the metal community since this album came out, which was followed buy a number of high-profile releases on Relapse Records. In my opinion though, Windhand has never sounded better than they did on this debut. It really takes something special to stand out amongst the hordes of Sabbath / Vitus-worshiping doom bands out there. While there's no mistaking the influence of those pioneers on Windhand's music, they twist that grim, despairing sound into something that feels both more personal and more unique, adding an extra heavy dose of psychedelic malevolence to their dark, mournful atmosphere. The guitarists bring a hefty amount of ultra-heavy droning power to the riffs, without sacrificing any of that hypnotic tone, and Cottrell's witchy moan drifts languidly and imposingly across it all, powerful and phantasmal, her deeply soulful wail echoing through a haze of reverb, having this far-off quality, rising like the smoke from a bonfire of dried, withered Eastern Redbud limbs burning low somewhere in the distance, hanging over the pulverizing psych-doom of songs like "Libusen" and "Summon The Moon". Great stuff.

With that striking vocal performance, the wrecking-ball-heavy grooves of the rhythm section of Nathan Hilbish and Ryan Wolfe, and the howling twin guitars from Asechiah Bogdan and Garrett Morris, Windhand's molten blacklight vibe becomes all-encompassing. The songs shift from menacing, insanely slo-mo heaviosity to some supremely brain-melting moments of jet-black space rock madness that emerge deeper into the album, where trippy Hawkwindian effects and cosmic guitar noise sweep across the pulverizing bluesy groove. Like the epic twelve-minute closure of "Winter Sun", which features guest vocals from Drew Goldy of RVA black metallers Bastard Sapling. Those are by far my favorite moments on Wimdhamd, delivering a picture-perfect combination of titanic riffage and sky-climbing delirium, the cumulative sound of the band achieving something so heavy and mesmeric, dark and threatening, everything steeped in a sort of rural dread that's echoed in the Appalachian ghostliness of the lyrics. Of course, all of this is what you'd probably expect from this kind of band, but Windhand do it better than most, one of the few bands I've heard that has succeeded in tapping into the same black energy as early Electric Wizard, while sounding utterly "Virginian" at the same time. Highly recommended if you're a devotee of the slow and low.

The bonus tracks are hidden early gems from the Windhand vaults. You get versions of "Heap Wolves" from their 2009 Practice Space demo and "Black Candles" from the Sound Of Music demo from the same year; both recordings have earlier drummer Jeff Loucks on the kit. Raw and rumbling. There's a remixed version of the song "Amaranth " from their split with Cough; this had previously shown up on Rue Morgue Magazine's 2012 Hymns From The House Of Horror III compilation. And the last two songs "Black Candles" and "Winter Sun" are pulled from a 2010 practice space demo. The practice space recordings and early demo material sound remarkably good, capturing that gritty, sinister vibe of the original version of the first album. It's all as pulverizing as anything you've heard from them.



VOIVOD  Too Scared To Scream  LP PICTURE DISC   (Noise)   24.99
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Noise Records really gives out a beating on these pricy vinyl reissues, but what can I do - it's not like I'm not going to stock records from Celtic Frost and Voivod, two of my all-time favorite bands, right? But this 2018 Record Store Day release is definitely one just for the collectors, art-object fanatics, and the diehards. It's a limited-edition reissue of Voivod's classic Cockroaches 12" that Noise released way back in 1987, a two-song EP that followed hot on the tail that year's groundbreaking prog-thrash classic Killing Technology, which featured "Too Scared To Scream" on its track list. Later on down the road, some of the CD reissues of Technology that came out would also add the other song "Cockroaches" as a bonus track. So musically speaking, longtime Voivod fans who have these guys in their collection may well already have these recordings on hand. The tunes absolutely rip, as expected; the rampaging "Too Scared" moves at Motorhead-like tempos, a wonky speed attack with those crucial Piggy chord structures and his eccentric riffing style all over, while "Cockroaches" sounds even punkier, almost D-beat drumming driving everything and singer Snake howling like a madman, and weird squiggly solos peppering that hardcore-level intensity, with a killer syncopated breakdown deeper in the song that slightly forshadows the feel of "Tribal Convictions". Altogether not the catchiest 'Vod tunes, but

The main draw for this picture disc is that it is a complete reproduction of the original '87 Cockroaches pic disc, and along with these two ass-shredding tracks featured a huge piece of drummer Away's Voivodian artwork on the one side (the other has Buffo Schnädelbach's band pics and the EP credits) . So like I said, only essential if you are geared towards the most obsessive Voivod vinyl curation. But damn, does it look cool. Comes in a standard die-cut DJ-style jacket with the Noise International logo art printed on top.



UNIVERS ZERO  Heresie  LP   (Sub Rosa)   26.99
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Another 2022 Sub Rosa vinyl reissue from the classic Univers Zero catalog; this LP edition was remixed and remastered at the same time as the Cuneiform CD reissue, and features the original main three tracks. The bonus track “Chaos Hermetique" on the CD is NOT included here. Here’s my original review for the CD release:

Regular readers of the C-Blast list have no doubt noticed that I'm a HUGE fan of the legendary Belgian chamber-prog band, and their latest album Clivages was in fact the featured new release for the last Crucial Blast new arrivals list. I've never carried their back catalog here in the shop however, so in keeping with my ongoing effort to try to turn more of you people on to the devilishly dark and baroque prog of UZ, I've picked up almost their entire catalog of releases. For those of you who are unfamiliar with 'em, Univers Zero were one of prog rock's darkest and creepiest sounding bands, a classically influenced ensemble based in Belgium that was formed and guided by the unique vision of drummer Daniel Denis, who had played with French titans Magma for a brief period before forming UZ.

The music of Univers Zero was distinguished by its connection to 20th century music, taking more inspiration from the dissonant sounds of composers like Bartok, Penderecki and Ligeti than from any of the then-current rock forms, and performing with classical instrumentation that included cello, violin, bassoon, viola, harmonium and piano, taking a good decade before they would finally start to utilize electric instruments. The music of Univers Zero, especially early on their first couple of albums, was also notably dark and oppressive, dissonant and sometimes shockingly heavy, a sort of gothic chamber-prog that would often incorporate Lovecraftian themes of cosmic horror into their song titles and imagery, thanks to Daniel Denis's long-running fascination with the works of H.P. Lovecraft (which was also noticeable in the names of two of his previous bands, Necronomicon and Arkham). Their Bartok-meets-Magma sound and the seriously creepy vibe that still informs their music up to the present day makes UZ one of my favorite prog bands ever, and their first three albums in particular (Univers Zero, Ceux Du Dehors and especially Heresie) are highly recommended listening to any fans of serious aural menace. Since the 1980's, Cuneiform Records (located right down the road from C-Blast HQ in Silver Spring) has been reissuing the Univers Zero catalog in high-quality editions, often fleshed out with bonus material and liner notes, and all of the available UZ titles on Cuneiform are now in stock here at Crucial Blast.

The most terrifying and dreadful of all of Univers Zero's albums, Heresie might just be the creepiest prog album ever. Sounds like a lot of hype if you've never heard it, but this album, now over thirty years old, is still a soundtrack tailor-made for nightmares, an aural bad dream, an orchestral march for demons, a formal score for a black mass. The band's previous debut album was a solemn, eerie enough introduction for their formidable brand of chamber-prog, but barely scratched at just how fucking frightening Univers Zero's music could actually get. At least some of this can be attributed to the expanded lineup; the chamber ensemble of drums, guitar, bass, oboe, viola, bassoon, violin, and keyboards from the debut was now joined by the massive pipe organ sound from guitarist/keyboardist Roger Trigaux, who adds a cavernous cathedral ambience to UZ's already dark sound that is chill inducing on this album. Like a cross between Ligeti, Bartok and Magma, pitch-black and highly dissonant, with creepy vocalizations and guttural chanting, long stretches of winding serpentine dread (such as on the monstrous opener "La Faulx") and bleak, oppressive ambience. The second track "Jack The Ripper" evokes absolute dread through the stabbing violins and screeching, scraped viola and bizarre demonic chants that almost sound like some sort of proto-blackdoom. Definitely Univers Zero at its darkest, and essential for anyone into pitch-black chamber music and prog.


Track Samples:
Sample : UNIVERS ZERO-Heresie
Sample : UNIVERS ZERO-Heresie
Sample : UNIVERS ZERO-Heresie


CHERRY POINT, THE + JOHN WIESE  White Gold  CD   (Helicopter)   13.98
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Track Samples:
Sample : II
Sample : I


FREE SALAMANDER EXHIBIT  Undestroyed  2 x LP   (Web Of Mimicry)   45.00
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RIO, MARCO DEL  Cleft Skull  7" FLEXI   (Seedstock)   6.98
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Track Samples:
Sample : Cleft Skull


SNARES OF SIXES  Yeast Mother: An Electroacoustic Mass  CD   (Crucial Blast)   8.98
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While renowned for his work as bassist for Agalloch and Sculptured, Jason Walton has also frequently ventured into other, stranger and more experimental regions over the past two decades, offering a range of baffling and captivatingly weird sounds with bands like Self Spiller, Especially Likely Sloth, and Nothing. And it's in that latter territory that we find the debut EP from Snares Of Sixes, his latest creation. On the band's debut EP Yeast Mother: An Electroacoustic Mass, Snares Of Sixes makes a bold and confounding introduction, tangling the listener in confusional, highly aggressive avant-prog. The genre-shredding sound taps into a warped confluence of frenzied King Crimson-esque progressive rock, faint traces of frayed, heavily mutated black metal, haunting atmospheric touches, and abrasive electronics, and the result leaves us deliriously disoriented.

With tracks like "Urine Hive", "Lions To Leeches", "The Mother's Throat", Walton and company lurch through an escalating, ever-shifting frenzy of creepy, labyrinthine melody and pummeling percussive chaos, over-modulated riffage and schizophrenic time signatures, where android mutterings give way to hideous blackened shrieks and bouts of bizarre crooning, the sound stitched with veins of crushing metallic heaviosity, fractured electronica, and surreal atmopsherics as it reaches towards the menacing glitched-out tech-metal hallucination of "Retroperistalsis" that closes the EP.

Often difficult, frequently nightmarish, this stuff easily ranks as one of Walton's more challenging and oblique offerings. And for us, one of his most fascinating. Features Marius Sjøli and Robert Hunter (Hollow Branches), Andy Winter (Winds), Pete Lee (Lawnmower Deth), Nathanaël Larochette (Musk Ox), and Don Anderson (Agalloch, Sculptured), among others.

Comes in a six-panel digipak.



CYBER-PSYCHOS A.O.D.  Issue 7  MAGAZINE   (CyberPsychos AOD Publishing)   6.00
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MEATHOOK SEED  Embedded  CASSETTE   (Earache)   9.99
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Track Samples:
Sample : Famine Sector
Sample : Day Of Conceiving
Sample : Embedded


AMES SANGLANTES  Recycled Music Series  CASSETTE   (RRRecords)   4.98
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So many years into collecting and immersing myself in the vast RRRecords catalog, and I am still coming across noise releases that I missed for one reason or another but which shred my brain beautifully. Like the 2016 RRRecycled Music Series tape from Ames Sanglante, the harsh noise alter-ego of Quebecois artist Pierre-Marc Tremblay, that gutter-savant notorious for his legion of different, unique projects, bands, and endeavors that include Akitsa, Vilains Bonshommes, Departure Chandelier, Venusberg Cardinal, Contrepoison, Outre-Tombe, and running the Tour De Garde label. Ames Sanglantes is one of his oldest projects; with releases stretching all the way back to 1998. The project name roughly translates to "Bloody Souls", in keeping with the general macabre theme that catalyzes his musical expressions, and the sound of Ames Sanglantes has evolved a bit over the course of the project's nearly twenty-five year existence. On this Recycled tape (released in 2016, I believe), Tremblay's untitled noise excursions travel over a varied but rough topography that stretches out for a bit over half an hour, starting off with restraint but leading you into a crushing harsh noisescape by the end.

Specks of sharp, pointillist feedback emerge from a lo-fidelity haze of tape hiss, settling into a steady sinewave whine right before a sub-surface whirl of distant skree, mysterious subterranean flutter and quick bursts of bitcrushed noise starts to take over on the A-side. It is abrasive but pulled-back, allowing for the subtle interplay of Tremblay's feedback machinations with that muted and distant oceanic rumble to spread out multi-directionally. More blips of crushed glitch appear briefly, while that chthonic reverberation slides into a kind of pulsating rhythm. This hovers in a similar void-field as the monotonous, pungent industrial minimalism of Zone Nord and Davide Tozzoli's work under the N. banner. There's a strange semi-organic presence within the muffled, caustic dronescape that really becomes apparent when that tranquil static starts heaving and throbbing beneath the shrill tone-streams and it all starts to feel like you are holding a closed container of writhing grubs up to your ear. In part, meditative, but also a little bit ghastly as it all slowly takes the form of a seething chitinous mass of insectile chaos. Chattering, clattering movements bursts from the slow shifting murk, those 8-bit electronic noises bursting onto the scene like some malevolent Morse code transmission. But when it switches over to the b-side, take cover: those sounds are suddenly and monstrously amplified, erupting into a cacophonic throb with the distortion pushed into the deep red, frying out the signals and bathing everything in a massive level of crunch. All of the mid-range is scooped out, leaving a bass-heavy mass of over-modulated rumble and hiss. All quite cathartic, of course, and heavy on detail as is the norm with Âmes Sanglantes recordings. Tremblay was obviously taking inspiration from some of the U.S. titans of extreme psychedelic primitivist noise a la Macronympha and Richard Ramirez circa-Nature's Afterbirth / Bleeding Headwound.

As with all of RRRecords' Recycled Music Series, this material is recorded over a pop/rock cassette, with hand-scrawled titles on the duct-taped cassette and cover.


Track Samples:
Sample : Recycled (1)
Sample : Recycled (2)
Sample : Recycled (3)


FUDGE TUNNEL  In A Word  CASSETTE   (Earache)   8.99
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AMANO, MASAMICHI  Urotsukidoji II: Legend Of The Demon Womb  2 x LP   (Tiger Lab)   32.00
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Track Samples:
Sample : Urotsukidoji II OST - Kohouki / Sky Rape
Sample : Urotsukidoji II OST - Experiment in 1944 - Vrill Society HQ
Sample : Urotsukidoji II OST - Battle Atop the Roofs of Shinjuku


THIEVING BASTARDZZZ  Complete Musical Disasters  7" VINYL   (SPHC)   6.50
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This 7" is a blast. Crude sleeve art and a terribly xeroxed insert sheet made me think I was getting another megadose of the total noisecore that SPHC has been battering me with lately, but this sixteen-song EP comes at you from a different direction: these goons out of Manchester, England play a brand of hardcore punk I don't hear too often anymore, a completely brain-damaged , glue-huffing gutter thrash that is weird as fuck. The songs veer from sloppy, discombobulated mid-tempo hardcore to hyperspeed, even borderline noisecore and back to gross jangly poppy punk shamble that makes me think of the Sockeye crew and their inebriated silliness. It's wild shit, totally chaotic and collapsing primitive hardcore and an absurdly mumbling vocalist and killer thrashcore riffs and random musical asides that go nowhere, with the a-side closing with the anthemic "Greedy Bastards" that sounds like they copped a certain Queen riff and twiste it towards their own atonal ends. Pretty glorious, actually. There's definitely an "outsider hardcore" vibe going on here, the speed and barreling violence of many of the songs reminioscemnt of classic thrashcore from Heresy, Siege or Larm (the latter being mentioned in the label's description of the 7", in fact), but mushed into that goofball humerous delivery and intwined with the sort of gnarled, chaotic strangeness of stuff like Psycho Sin and the amazing no-fi clusterfuck HC of the UK band Genocide Association (which happened to include a young, pre-Earache Digby Pearson). Anyways, this platter is a ripper that takes the title of " Complete Musical Disasters " absolutely seriously, large chunks of it sounding quite poissbly improvised. Just as ridiculous are the song titles and lyrics, which include stuff like "Aaaahhhh!", "I Love My Mum", "Cool Fabby Song", "Secret Pizza Eater", and "Elephant Song". This EP makes me want to run straight up my walls and chow down on some cheese bread. Uncontrolled anti-musical fun.



FRKSE  Remove  LP   (Divergent Series)   14.99
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Early recording from FRKSE, a still-enigmatic industrial outfit from Boton-based Rajen Bhatt that's been dropping massive rhythmic beats, dark punk industrial, and sumptuous gutter drones since the mid-oughts. Mostly lurking beneath the surface of the contemporary industrial / electronics movement, most folks probably know this persistant band from his more recent records on weirdo-hardcore powerhouse Iron Lung that came out around 2020, a stamp of approval in and of itself. At the onset of FRKSE's strange activity, though, the sounds leaned more towards the minimal, debuting with a similiarly minded silk-screened jacket with a simple handwritten insert card and single sigil marking its intent. Remove presents itself as a blank slate upon first handling, although the electronic and physical elements take form and aggression as soon as the wax starts to spin.

His connections and influence stemming from interests in the underground hip-hop scene rear their head early on as well. The album runs through nine songs, most of them somewhat brief sound-sculptures, and a carefully applied mixture of sound and improvisation fuels the encroaching, potentially dystopian atmopshere that begins to roll over the album. It's hard to pick out all of the instruments being utilized here; regularly armed with samplers, synthesizers, electronic processors, and vocals, it feels like there is some bass guitar snaking through this as well. I'm reminded of the often horrifying cacophony of 80's-era Missing Foundation at times but much more subdued, but even moreso the hypno-narcoptic boom-bap of early Scorn, albeit much more ruined and damaged by the unending reverberations of random machine sounds and faceless murmurs and errant electronic gunk that makes up modern city life. Nothing with FRKSE feels derivitive though. A punk-style count-off kicks it in, that monstrous slithering bass guitar presence mobing around slow-motion beats and swirling electronic noise. "Rots The Primer" emits a claustrophobic nightmare quality, distant rhythmic loops and echoes of abused inanimate objects slowly comes together into a sinister, neurotic and totally hypnotic industrial beatscape, recorded at just the right level of low-fidelity, oozing heaviness and dehumanized structures. Ululuating muezzin-esque calls carry over breaks of pure hiss, then sink back into the lurching, murky darkhop constructions of "Engineer 1965 " and "To Fool A Brahmin", the mighty breakbeat driven tension of "Drunk On Power In The Dry State ", other songs erupting into a chaotic horror of tape-looped roiling monstrous voices and crushing bass-heavy noise. And every needle-drop feels like a sigh of resignation.

I love the whole subterranean vibe of FRKSE's music here, sounding as if is occuring in some dead-end alley after midnight, a fusion of ritual and release, moments of fleeting transcendent beauty breaking off the surf of the musical churn and abrasive textures. But even at those flashes of almost post-rock like melody, FRKSE keeps the experienced anchored to an atmopshere of gleaming asphalt and distamt rumbling dumptrucks doing their rounds in the darkness, forgotten voices dissipating into manholes cracked slightly ajar, carving an inescapable, sludgy groove though the extremes of urban blight and intense isolation. This album has haunted me for awhile. It's long sold-out from the label, just a few copies left here on the shelf, but if any of those references or the power of the recent Iron Lung Records releases capture your nervous system and current anxieties as they've done to me, Remove comes recommended in all of its handmade, gritty obscurity.



NIGHTMARE LODGE  Blind Miniatures  CD   (Red Stream)   9.98
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Track Samples:
Sample : Extinction
Sample : Tenia (Still Hooked Version)
Sample : Fugitive


MARCH VIOLETS, THE  The Palace Of Infinite Darkness  5 x CD + BOOK BOXSET   (Jungle Records)   34.99
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Track Samples:
Sample : Deep
Sample : The Face Of The Dragonfly (Richard Skinner Saturday Live)
Sample : Lighst Go Out
Sample : Snake Dance
Sample : Road Of Bones
Sample : Snake Dance (Extended)
Sample : Radiant Boys
Sample : MARCH VIOLETS, THE-The Palace Of Infinite Darkness


CREMATION GROUNDS  Abortion Sacrament  CASSETTE   (Crucial Blast)   9.00
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Similar to the recent online-only (thus far) release of the long-thought-lost Cremation Grounds full-length Lord Of Nerves, the 20-minute EP Abortion Sacrament is another recording that was produced in the late 2000s and had been thought lost for fifteen years due to the destruction of the hard drive that contained the original masters. As part of a recent organizing effort here at Crucial Blast, almost all of these recordings were recently rescued from that cursed external drive, and have been resurrected and remastered for your listening displeasure.

Coming from one of the preeminent entities of the Order Of The Warhead, the three-track Abortion Sacrament EP is the very first release that Cremation Grounds recorded around 2008-2009, and like other recordings of the era, dislodges a bog-damn of insanely misanthropic black noise / heavy electronics, gruesome blown-out industrial sludge, crushing harsh-noise-wall style constructions, and an overdriven recording style that may well have been itself the cause of that hard drive's suffering and collapse. Again, the gist of these tracks is pure in-the-red evil electronic obliteration, much of it crafted by the entities behind Cremation Grounds as a kind of "meditation through abomination" strategy, utilizing the recordings for deep meditative sessions typically accompanied by sacred entheogens, assorted psychedelics (both natural and otherwise), acts of self-debasement and self-abuse, extended scatalogical ritual, and the disintegration of the ego in the churning jet-black oceans of searing distortion and low-end rumbling rot that dominate the sessions.

Abortion Sacrament does not have quite as much of the molten scum-dirge that is found on the Lord Of Nerves full-length. But these three tracks make up for it in all-out sense-wrecking chaos and over-modulated electronic violence. Drums, vocals and percussion all exist within the roiling black-static detonations of the title track and "Spread Wide Upon Her Cremation Grounds (Adorned In Bone Ornaments)", but they have been destroyed completely by walls of crumbling, crackling electronic distortion, with the occasional muffled roar of guttural, monstrous vocalizations breaking through the carnage.

As with the album, this material skews hard towards the harsh noise / black noise end of the sound spectrum, but likewise takes a great deal of inspiration from the diabolic filth of ancient, dissolving Finnish black/death demos. This sonic abhorrence crawls before the cracked and damaged altars of Macronympha, the no-fi bestial hiss of the earliest Beherit demos, classic Japanese noise a la Pain Jerk and Incapacitants, and the aura of eighth-generation dubs of Archgoat rehearsal tapes, all grown together into a swollen, pulsating, cancerous mass of cacophonous horror.

The EP is available on 3" CD in DVD-size packaging, hand-numbered in an edition of 90 copies. Sacrament is also available on audio cassette in a limited run of 100 copies, with a bonus tape-only track on the B-side titled "Enfolded In The Engorged Lips Of Kali", another nineteen-minute harsh blackened heavy electronics meditation that was recorded around 2010. Both the 3" CD and Cassette versions of Abortion Sacrament include full-color inserts and a vinyl Cremation Grounds sticker.


Track Samples:
Sample : Spread Wide Upon Her Creamtion Grounds (Adorned In Bone Ornaments)
Sample : They Will Make Cemeteries Their Cathedrals And The Cities Will Be Your Tombs
Sample : Abortion Sacrament (Devil Rite)


NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THE DEAD THINK  self-titled  LP   (Willowtip)   24.99
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ALLIN, GG  Violent Beatings  CD   (ACME Records)   9.98
Violent Beatings IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

One of the more sonically extreme discs in the Allin catalog, this 2001 compilation is a fuckin' low-fi abomination. A reissue of one of the best sessions of abject noise punk from GG Allin, which has been out for awhile, but I'm just now getting it on the shelves. Like much of the later GG Allin output, it's atavistic hardcore punk filth, but this session boasts one of the harshest, most distorted recordings I think I've ever heard on an Allin album - oh hell yeah, Violent Beatings is one of my all time favorite discs from the Sewer Messiah. This recording is so fucked-up and noise-damaged that it strikes the same frayed nerve as stuff like Stickmen With Rayguns, Brainbombs, Flipper, Drunkdriver, No Balls, and Rectal Hygeneics. And that title? Couldn't be more fucking appropriate. It's one two three four and the blown-out homicide anthem "Watch Me Kill The Boston Girl" skids into you like an out of control Honda, a mere minute long blast of primitive hardcore with incredibly gnarly vocals pushed through a snarl of distortion and dented microphone. That hardcore punk element is all over the classic Watch Me Kill 7" tracks (released on Fuckin' A / Stomach Ache Records in 1991) that consist of the first half of this disc, apparently remixed and remastered from the original four-track tape recordings, slamming one after another into the mutilation fantasia "Castration Crucifixion" a mid-tempo punk stomper, into the bizarre tribal exorcism "Snakemans Dance" that weaves reptilian noises and crude tribal rhythms and GG sneering psychotically over a simple but sinister sludgy guitar riff, producing some wickedly noxious psychedelic noise rock fuckery. And then it explodes into a shrapnel storm of infectious pogo violence via "Slaughterhouse Deathcamp" and the closing song "Master Daddy", that wash of omnipresent tape-hiss consistently smeared over top of everything, simultaneously catchy as hell, and garbled and grotesque; a bizarre Communion ritual is rasped over the blasphemous sludge-punk of "Feces And Blood Bacteria Of The Soul" that dredges up some more of the band's latent shithole psychedelia, twisted and gnarled blues guitar licks and discordant amp skree swirled into the slow-motion depravity, almost suggesting a viciously violent Butthole Surfers jam as the group and Allin stumble and stomp their way to the absolute blurr-chaos of the summit. Yeah man, this EP is a beast,; again, one of my favorites of the late 80s Allin canon.

The alternate recordings from the August 1988 "Suicide Sessions" is similarly hideous and wrecked as the band rams another five tracks of grime down your throat, from the Oi!-esque catchiness of "Dagger In My Heart", the vile mid-tempo metalpunk crusher "Spread Your Legs Part Your Lips", the "classick", almost surf rock-tinged "Shit On My Prick" with its brain-damaged atonal guitar soloing and simple, barbaric riff; "Cornhole Lust"'s borderline pigfuck atrocity that stands out on the set with its slower, shambling tempo, horrific vocal sounds, and gritty noise and distortion. The band's hardcore punk undercurrent rises to the surface on "Kiss Me In The Gutter”, again demonstrating some completely berserk ear-fucking guitar skronk and solo. Oner of the real standouts on Beatings is the abject sludge of "Drug Whore", a dark and deliriant crusher that could almost pass for some unheard Hellhammer song, its grisly minor-key riffs grinding over you like a bulldozer, the noisy fretboard histrionics adding to the song's aura of depravity and chaotic frenzy, with Allin's ranting, seemingly freeform muttering and whispering and shouting drawling across the slo-mo scumbath. "I Live To Be Hated" is a perfect closer, another one of those rippin' nihilistic pogo-punk jammers that Allin and crew were able to just pluck out of the fetid air. What a glorious, abominable bloodbath.



INTEGRITY / NOTHING  Splitsville  7" VINYL   (Relapse)   9.99
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SCALD HYMN / PERMANENT WAVES  split  CASSETTE   (Phage Tapes)   8.99
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Early 2023 tape release from the mighty Phage, pairing two interesting newer dark-sound sculptors for well over half an hour of deep creep.

Scald Hymn brings two untitled tracks that are almost the exact same length; long warbling tones from chamber strings, perhaps sourced from the slow, improvised scrape and bow of a cello or viola, are delicately layered together to form a crepuscular blur of mournful-sounding drones and forlorn intonations. It's quite pretty, in a melancholic way, but as Scald (aka Erik Brown) proceeds into this dimly-lit subterreanean space, he begins to summon eruptions of garbled, metallic junk-noise, crashing metal against metal, electronics on electronics, as extreme high-frquency feedback tones scream out of the blackness like airbursts, as those stringed instruments continue to weep in anguish. In total, this side delivers a pretty powerful sonic experience, contrasting a sad sort of concrete noise poetry with blasts of absolutely excoriating, brutal cacophony. Solid stuff, with the intimate sound of fingers fumbling against knobs and dials, the sounds drifting through your brusied skull from some unmapped region between the scattershot junk/metal-blast collage of K2 or Hal Hutchinson, the hyperviolent carnage of Macronympha, and the febrile strands of intense feedback apllication pursued by Tourette.

The three pieces from counterpart Permanent Waves share a common lust for extreme feedback manipulation, as "Belief In History", "Three Mirrors For Healing And Travel", and "Shear Force Impression Model" unwind like besotted nightmares, sending streams of searing hiss and squeal over deeply warped singing and complete fucked-up pop-style vocals , the combination of all of this smearing and clotting together into an intricate abomination. Like Scald Hymn, this is a very personalized approach to harsh noise, forging a uniquely broken world of sound that grows more hideous and abrasive with each passing moment. The bits of musicality, random urban noise and natural sounds that appear become buried and crushed under the bludgeoning low-end, nerve-shredding skree, and bouts of abstracted electronic vomitus feel more and more like a mockery, until the humanity is scraped away and you are left sitting in the center of a storm of spastic, gurgling distortion and rudimentary rhythms. Somehow over the course of the twenty-minutes, this moves uneasily through haunting soundscapes and absolutely obliterating pandemonium.


Track Samples:
Sample : ��SCALD HYMN  Untitled
Sample : ��PERMANENT WAVES  Shear Force Impression Model


DISCORDANCE AXIS  Jouhou (Reissue)  2 x LP   (Willowtip)   33.99
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STCLVR  Post Self Abandonment  CASSETTE   (Crucial Blast)   9.00
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One of my latest obsessions is the burgeoning field of what I describe as "Death EBM", a loosely-connected cadre of artists and bands from around the world heavily influenced by the classic 1980s "Electronic Body Music" movement spearheaded by the likes of Nitzer Ebb and Front 242. Heavily relying on sequencers, distorted Korg and Roland synthesizers, pummeling drum machines, aggressive vocals, and punk-as-fuck anti-authoritarian lyrics, those pioneers developed a hybrid of industrial music; electronic dance elements and punk rage that absolutely dominated the late 80s underground. That style of industrial dance music went in and out of fashion over the subsequent decades, though, with some artists heading in a more "metal"-centric direction, others polishing their sound to a sleeker, more commercial technoid style. But in recent years, I've been following a serious resurgence in this style that seems to be coming primarily out of the harsh noise / dark industrial / synth-punk underground, with many of these new heavy hitters appearing on the Phage Tapes label. This new breed of EBM retains the violent 4/4 syncopated aggression and searing, distorted synthesizer sounds of the original scene, but bring a virulent strain of violent, grotesque electronics and vocals to the aesthetic, infecting these heavier EBM attacks with death metal-style shrieks, charred and blackened keyboard melodies, jackhammer-powered industrial abrasion, and trace elements of other extreme music forms that turn the whole EBM sound on its head, producing something uglier, heavier, harsher, darker and more ferocious than ever before, often drenched in violent, visceral eroticism. Phage has been mapping this incredible deathscape in recent years, delivering punishing neo-EBM from artists like Choke Chain, Distruster, Plack Blague, Wvalaam Klous, Harsh R, Talk Show, Fox Nova Project, Human Vault, It Spoke In Tongues and a host of other crushers. This shit is amazing, and anyone who's diggin' this heavy new brand of EBM should dive into that label's catalog, STAT.

One of the best of these dancefloor / headroom annihilators is STCLVR. Pronounced "Streetcleaver", this mutant from somewhere in Western NY blew the tail end of 2023 apart with the slammin' electronic body-horror bomb Post Self Abandonment , which came out on 12" vinyl through Phage right around Halloween. This cassette edition features the same material, and it's a beast. Merging caustic noise, power electronics influences, crumbling distortion walls, industrial metal, and monstrous vocals, this album builds upon the bulldozing EBM / synth-metal crush of the tracks from the Talk Show split cassette from 2022 (where I first encountered STCLVR's music, alongside the reissue of the Lovers album) and comes out even heavier (and more danceable) than ever. Ten tracks of brutal Death EBM that unleash a maelstrom of rabid electronic noise, horrifying death metal-esque screams and roars, gigantic rumbling industrial loops, vintage synthesizer arpeggios, and blasts of pummeling rhythmic power that invoke the hardest dance-floor eruptions of classic Belgian EBM. Equal parts harsh psychedelic noise, acid-damaged beast roars, lava-like distortion, and hardened beats that resemble Front 242, Nitzer Ebb, or Twitch -era Ministry filtered through a blackened cloud of rot and repulsion. The bass line that drives "Scumbag Finesse" immediately recalls the main theme from John Carpenter's iconic Assault On Precinct 13 score while adding chaotic, clanging rhythms, bursts of blast beat-level speed, and those ravenous shrieks; the propulsive four-on-the-floor power of "Plowed", underscored by grinding chord structures, erupts into a kind of electro-thrash savagery. The highly infectious beats that burn through the whiteout of "Cocaine Winter" join with melancholic synths, offering a discordian atmosphere that continues through the whole album; likewise, an element of Digital Hardcore seethes through songs like "Sea Hag 2023" and the menacing techno throb of closer "Tarnish", adding to the variety of rhythmic texture on the album. Forged from the black fire of mental and emotional struggle, STCLVR emerges anew, fearsome and unstoppable, and you can hear it through the entire album. Post Self Abandonment is triumphant.

The vinyl version of Post Self Abandonment is available via Phage Tapes.


Track Samples:
Sample : Cocaine Winter
Sample : Scumbag Finesse
Sample : Crows Feet
Sample : Sea Hag 2023


SA BRUXA  Ritual  CD   (Dunkelheit Produktionen)   17.99
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SU19B  The World Doomed To Violence  LP   (R.S.R.)   19.99
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Didn't realize it until I looked up the record on Discogs.com, but I was surprised to find that The World Doomed To Violence is actually the first-ever full-length album from this longrunning Japanese grind/sludge outfit, despite them having been around for around twenty years. During all that time, Su19b have mainly focused on releasing their music as splits with other bands, but it's taken them all this time to finally deliver their own album. And boy it it a beast. From it's stark black and white artwork that combines anatomical imagery with old-school death metal style horrors, to the band's rapid-fire assault of ultra-heavy powerviolence, this record is grim stuff. Starting off with a statick-laced noisescape draped in sinister voices and samples, billowing gusts of dark ambient sound and rumbling distorted guitar drones, the epic title track unfurls slowly across the beginning of the aklbum, as monstrously slow and abject as Corrupted, the guttural inhuman gurgling vocals oozing over the slo-motion crawl. But that rapidly mutates into a frenzy of shifting brutality, erupting into sludgy punk-fueled death metal and hyperspeed blastcore and depth-charge doom, vacillating between these sounds over the course of the track. From there the rst of the album blasts through shorter songs, but continues to shamble monstrously through that increasingly weird melange of sludge-encrusted metal, and further lacing this violent combo of powerviolent chaos and molten, rotten deathdoom with eerie chantlike vocals, short, brooding passages of windswept slowcore-like minimalism, surges of chaotic lopsided hardcore and intense Merzbowian electronic noise, and even the occasional searing twin-guitar harmony.

Those powerviolence traits are all over this, from the barbaric hyperfast hardcore riffing to the sudden and jarring start/stop arrangements, but they shroud those elements in a ghastly glacial death metal heavioisty that makes it all sound freshly bizarre

Might be the heaviest stuff from them so far, continuing to mine that Corrupted-meets-Crossed Out sound that the band christened back in 1997



SLEEP  Dopesmoker (2023 Edition)  CD   (Third Man Records)   11.99
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The latest (circa 2023) reissue of Sleep's stoner-drone-metal masterpiece comes to us from Third Man, who was also behind their last full length album The Sciences. This new edition has been remastered for all formats (I don't have the time to do a side by side between this and the Southern Lord version, but rest assured it sounds massive), and has been issued with what the label describes as a "deep cut", the nearly nine-minute "Hot Lava Man" which I think only appeared previously as a live cut on the 2003 Gilman St - Berkley, CA 2/21/92 CD, and is completely exclusive to the Third Man Records edition (which I'm sure will drive some Sleep completists right up the goddamn wall, seeing as how this album has appeared in like five thousand different iterations). So here's what I had to say about the main album track from the prior edition, with an additional look at the new bonus jam:

The umpteenth release of one of sludge metal's most legendary albums, the 2012 reissue of Sleep's classic Dopesmoker album offers a new re-mastering, new (and improved, in my opinion) artwork from Arik Roper, and a different bonus track from the previous edition released by Tee Pee back in 2003. Most doom fans know that this album itself is an alternate release of the ill-fated Jerusalem that famously was supposed to have been released by the major label London Records back in the 90s, but ended up being shelved for years due to the label's complete loss of interest in the release. It was later resurrected at the end of the decade, and an alternate version titled Dopesmoker emerged at the beginning of the 2000s, which has gone on to become the band's (and fan’s) preferred version of the album. Listening to Dopesmoker again, it's easy to see why this has become such a landmark of slow-motion metal.

Sprawling out for just over an hour, this titanic tar pit jam winds through a maze of gluey riffs and thunderous hypnotic tempos, shifting from a leaden crawl to quicker (but still pulverizing) grooves every couple of minutes. It's hardly a one-riff slogfest; just take a look at the copy of the band's ridiculous "charts" that's included on the insert - how these guys could manage to keep track of what they were doing and where they were going while smoking as much dope as they did is nothing short of amazing. The trio of Al Cisneros, Chris Hakius and Matt Pike crafted a towering monument to explorational heaviness on this album, pushing past the boundaries of Black Sabbath's dread-filled doom into more ecstatic regions of molten psychedelia and tectonic drone. All through the lumbering lava-like riffing and trance-like repetition of "Dopesmoker", you can hear the seeds of the meditational hypno-rock that Cisneros and Hakius would go on to develop with Om, and the bone-rattling guitar tone, chant-like bellow and molten war-riffage of Matt Pike (later of High On Fire) was fully formed here. The religious references and reverence for the Leaf were another aspect of Sleep's music and presentation that would be later adopted by a million stoner-doom wannabes, but here it feels unique.

Utterly essential. I can't imagine any serious doom metal/sludge fan not having this in their collection.

And then the new 2023 bonus song, "Hot Lava Man". Recorded at the Razor’s Edge Studio in San Francisco in 1992, this is a never-before-released studio recording of the band's obscure early tune, showing up for the first time ever on the Third Man reissue. How is it? Well, it's heavy as hell, no surprise. And it sure does sound like it was recorded back in the primordial days of Sleep, with a raw, blown-out production that makes the Sabbathian riff-o-rama sound meaner and more messed-up. It's a solid Sleep jam, gigantic down-tuned droning riffage with some of Pike's psychedelic soloing snaking around the lutching riff changes. The second half transforms into more up-tempo spaced-out lysergic slo-mo-boogie, more in line with the sort of American doom metal these dudes were listening to at the time (think anything on the Hellhound label in 1992) than the more form-exploding experimental power of "Dopesmoker" itself. But man, is this a mega-stomper for sure.


Track Samples:
Sample : SLEEP-Dopesmoker (2023 Edition)
Sample : SLEEP-Dopesmoker (2023 Edition)
Sample : Hot Lava


RUDIMENTARY PENI  Death Church (2022 Reissue)  LP   (Sealed Records)   26.00
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New (2022) remastered reissue of the classic deathrock debut Death Church, presented in jewel case CD and on vinyl in big foldout poster sleeve. Here's my write-up, slightly edited, of the previous Outer Himalayan edition :

This classic slab of macabre Lovecraftian avant-punk is available again, remastered from the original tapes. Like the other recent Peni reissues, this is essential for anyone into dark, macabre punk, early death-rock, and occult-obsessed hardcore.

It would be very hard to overstate just how influential these albums have been on an entire class of bands that followed in their wake, and you can now hear echoes of Rudimentary Peni's spiky, angular punk and bubbling madness lingering on albums from all kinds of hardcore punk, avant-rock and even black metal bands. They have always been grouped in with the early 80's anarcho-punk scene that flourished in Britain, but aside from their early connections with the band Crass (having released their 1982 Farce 7" on Crass Records), Rudimentary Peni had very little in common both musically and thematically with most of the other punk bands that they were associated with. Their music was so much darker and more enigmatic than almost anything else happening in British punk at the time, with much of the unique sound and vibe coming from front-man Nick Blinko, a visionary lyricist and artist who has struggled with mental illness and long periods of hospitalization throughout the bands entire career, and who brought his increasingly deranged visions of disturbing deformed characters, rampant paranoia, and withered horrors to the bands music, drawing influence from the works of H.P Lovecraft and the occult. For fans of dark, outre punk rock, the Rudimentary Peni records are absolutely essential; all three of the band's albums are crucial slabs of twisted, menacing rock, and even their EPs are minor masterpieces of macabre weirdness. They've never put out a bad record, and I actually think that their more recent stuff, while heavier and different from their classic early records, is just as amazing as their earliest, most legendary recordings. All are classic albums of malevolent weirdo punk, presented with complete lyrics and lots of Blinko's amazing obsessive pen-and-ink artwork.

Like I've mentioned at length in my write-ups of the reissues of Archaic, Cacophony and Pope Adrian 37th Psychristiatric, Rudimentary Peni are one of my all time favorite bands from the 80's British punk underground, a band that was often associated with the UK anarcho-punk scene but who was in fact off on some weird cosmic-horror-tinged death-rock trip that was totally unlike anything else going on at the time. The band's debut album Death Church was wholly unique when it came out in '83, from front man Nick Blinko's nightmarish, obsessively detailed black and white album art to the bizarre song writing and morbid atmosphere that hangs over the bands music. The macabre pogo power of the opening song introduces Death Church's relentless buzzsaw punk assault, leading the charge for these twenty-one tracks of ripping rocking mid-tempo angular deathpunk, the songs comprised of simple four-chord riffs twisted into sinister angular hooks, the bass guitar bouncing like Peter Hook on cheap crank, Blinko's howling vocals the closest he ever came to a traditional hardcore-style delivery. The whole album has its gnarled and blackened roots digging deep into the rotting carcass of early 80s hardcore, but this ended up sounding unlike anything else in punk at the time thanks to Blinko's demented lyrical visions and bizarre artwork and the band's ferocious, pounding hypnotic buzzbomb punk. On some of these songs, the band even reveals a weird sort of proto-black metal sound on tracks like "Poppycock", with its furious tremolo picking and speedy assault; for fans of the current wave of blackened punk outfits like Malveillance, Bone Awl and the like, there are moments on Death Church that could possibly provide an epiphany. That signature strain of Peni weirdness abounds, of course, with some of their punk-shanty stuff showing up on other tracks like "Vampire State Building" and the sepulchral shimmy of "Flesh Crucifix", all infested with bizarre squealing cries and the dank stink of the tomb. Can't recommend this album enough.



THEOLOGIAN  Dregs  CDR   (Annihilvs)   9.99
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CAUCHEMAR  Chapelle Ardente  LP   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)   19.98
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DIE KREUZEN  Century Days  CD   (Touch & Go)   14.98
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SLOGUN  Sacrifice Unto Me  CD   (Bloodlust!)   12.99
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TREPANERINGSRITUALEN  Deathward, To The Womb  CD   (Cold Spring)   16.98
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Newly reissued on gorgeous gatefold digipak CD, and featuring the bonus track "I Remember When I Was God", an epic collaboration with Michael Idehall and members of Arktau Eos, Bölzer, Aether, and Hadewych. As for the album proper, here's our original review from 2012:

One of the latest releases from this Scandinavian master of diseased occult industrial, Deathward To The Womb originally came out on 10" vinyl from Release The Bats and has since sold out from the label; it appears that we snagged the last available copies of this fearsome death-rite.

Beginning with the incredibly thick and suffocating death-drift of "The Birth Of Babalon", Trepaneringsritualen wastes no time in unleashing its oppressive graveyard ambience, laying massive slabs of rotted noise and low-end rumble across distant, barely perceptible rhythms that feel like war-drums pounding from deep below the earth's surface, while deep, slurred vocals slowly ooze over the ghoulish soundscape, drenched in delay and black tar. It just gets creepier and more sinister as it progresses, heading into the bleak lightless depths of the title track, a monstrous death industrial dirge in the classic Cold Meat vein doused in blackness, filled with deep rumbling drones and evil guttural incantations, high wailing tones that come screeching through the void, and a slithering doom-laden bass line and distant percussive rattling and clanking that builds upon the already unnerving atmosphere of inescapable death. The side closes with a real knockout, the lurching death-dub nightmare "Osiris, Slain & Risen" that smears all sorts of hallucinatory effects over a deep, sinister bass-groove.

"She Is Flame Of Life" opens the b-side with more grim electro-throb, a pulsating distorted synthesizer drone a la Genocide Organ that worms its way through a fog of moaning demons, swells of minor-key creep, and blood-encrusted machinery slowly revving to life. A more ritualistic feel (though no less horrific in tone) permeates the steady percussive pounding and slavering jaws of "Sacrament & Crucifixion", where foul Evil Dead-like voices call out from behind a veil of rot. The closer is one of Trepaneringsritualen's most rhythmic tracks, a pounding graveyard celebration called "All Hail The Black Flame" that blends thick cloying smears of black noise with ecstatic roars of bloodlust and booming, dubbed-out tribal drums that recalls the groovier moments of MZ.412. Only this is awash in enough exhumed filth to give you strychnine poisoning.



MURDEROUS VISION  Hidden Histories  CASSETTE   (Impulsy Stetoskopu)   8.99
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Still one of the most consistent death industrial outfits currently active here in the US, Stephen Petrus's long-running Murderous Vision came out with this cassette a short while back on the Polish label Impulsy Stetoskopu, a full-length album of dark, oppressive ambience and cold, clanking loops woven into highly atmospheric driftscapes. The five tracks that make up this tape are in a similar vein as other recent Murderous Vision works like Engines & Disciples and To Know How It Will End; each is an expansive mass of sound formed from a variety of rumbling, rattling mechanical noises that have been looped together into hypnotic churning patterns, draped in thick layers of murky low-end drone and blasted with gusts of icy blackness, with violent eruptions of garbled electronics and brutal percussion breaking through the dense wall of sound.

It gets pretty heavy at times, as tracks like "A Hatred That Binds" materialize into huge grinding noisescapes, super-distorted drones and blown-out bass churning beneath frenzied electronics and washes of gaseous feedback, or slip into sprawls of glacial rumble like "Feeble Ways To Sell Your Soul", the low-frequency murk infested with surges of insectile synth-noise. Like lots of Petrus's stuff, it's all pretty oppressive, texturally dense with moments of vast, mesmeric power, a wall of malevolent noise rising ever skyward, seething with all kinds of aural activity. And at a couple of points, the sound even drifts into a monstrous power-electronics assault, furious screamed vocals suddenly ripping out of the sonic slime and echoing wildly across fields of inhuman percussive pummel and a backdrop of roaring, over-modulated machinery. The whole tape reaches its apex with the throbbing nightmare that is the title track, also notable for featuring Gary Mundy of Ramleh/Skullflower infamy delivering his demonic, wailing vocals against the sound of a malignant, penetrative pulse.

Released in a limited edition of one hundred hand-numbered copies.


Track Samples:
Sample : MURDEROUS VISION-Hidden Histories
Sample : MURDEROUS VISION-Hidden Histories
Sample : MURDEROUS VISION-Hidden Histories


NIGHTSTICK  Blotter  LP   (Armageddon)   15.99
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GRIEF  Come To Grief  CD   (Willowtip)   10.98
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Track Samples:
Sample : Stricken
Sample : Earthworm
Sample : Bury the Dead [#]


CELTIC FROST  Innocence & Wrath  2 x CD   (Noise)   14.99
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CONTROLLED BLEEDING  Distress Signals I + II  2 x CD   (Artoffact Records)   21.00
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LYCUS  Chasms (BLACK VINYL)  LP   (Relapse)   16.99
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MELVINS  Dale Crover  LP   (Boner)   17.98
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      The latest to wash ashore in this recent flood of Melvins-related vinyl reissues, the band's trio of "solo albums" that came out on Boner Records back in '92 have all been resurrected on wax for the first

time in twenty years, featuring the original music and accompanied by a poster and digital download code. Here's our old review for this stuff from when we originally got 'em in stock:

      If you've been following the Melvin's for awhile, you know that those dudes love KISS. They love 'em so much that back in 1992, the Melvins issued a series of three EP's, one from each member (King

Buzzo, Dale Crover, and then-bassist Joe Preston) presenting their own EP of original solo material; the discs were totally modeled after the original KISS solo albums from 1978 in both look and concept, mimicking the same cover art

style and KISS-logo lettering, making this part homage, part prank. These are now pretty hard to find, but are absolutely crucial to Melvins fans as each of the EP's are like a slide-section of the member's creativity, and all are

totally crushing and weird in their own manner.

      For his 12-minute solo EP, Melvins' drummer Dale Crover teamed up with his then-wife Debbi Shane and served up four songs of sludgy, heavy metalpunk, catchy and hooky guitar-heavy tuneage that

kinda reminds me of Dinosaur Jr. a little, but as heard through the slow fuzz weight of Melvins' Bullhead with Dale intoning his vocals Buzzo-style. Dale's entry is easily the catchiest and most accessible disc of the trilogy,

the songs "Hex Me", "Dead Wipe", "Respite", and "Hurter" combining into a droney, hypnotic slab of darkened sludge pop. Always loved this disc, and I also always hoped that Dale would have pursued this catchier solo style more later on.



CONQUEROR  War.Cult.Supremacy (Reissue)  2 x LP   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)   28.99
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     One of the few truly essential "war metal" albums (at least, for those already enamoured with this brand of bestial savagery), Conqueror's sole full-length is finally back in print on vinyl, this time as a definitive "20th Anniversary" version that includes all of the material that was included on the previous double CD version.

      Formed by former Cremation drummer James Read and Domini Inferi guitarist Ryan F?rster, Conqueror expanded upon the frenzied blackened death metal pioneered by Oath of Black Blood-era Beherit and fellow Ross Bay Cult maniacs Blasphemy, whipping their barbaric blast into even more bone-rattling extremes that could at times border on an almost noisecore-like level of sonic extremism. This was a direct precursor to the likes of Revenge (which rose from the ashes of Conqueror) and the berserker noisecore of Intolitarian, truly extreme music endowed with an uncompromising misanthropic worldview that made most black metal bands look like card-carrying members of UNICEF. Conqueror only released one album during their existence, and it's gathered here alongside the band's demo and compilation tracks, as well as their material from the split with Black Witchery, comprising the complete discography of the group; essential listening for anyone into Read's subsequent work with Revenge, and anyone obsessed with the most violent and depraved extremes of death metal.

      The first disc in the set features Conqueror's 1999 album War Cult Supremacy, their magnum opus of bestial blackened grind. This barbaric nine-song album still rattles the senses some fifteen years on, each song a relentlessly violent eruption of Forster's abrasive, acidic guitar sound and Read's maniacal whirlwind drumming, those grinding riffs splintering into seemingly random solo splatter and those weird glissando pick-slides that are a distinguishing feature of Conqueror's sound; the riffs seem carved out of a punk-like simplicity and ferocity, and Read's strangled, hysterical screams sound absolutely inhuman. That combination of hyperspeed drumming and grating concrete-mixer riffs brought an almost noisecore-level of sonic chaos to Conqueror's cyclonic death metal attack; indeed, this stuff feels as if it more closely shares DNA with the nuclear chaos of Scum-era Napalm Death, early Siege, and Repulsion than the black/death metal of its day.

      A shitload of bands would subsequently jump onto Conqueror's coattails trying to harness the bestial blast perfected on this album, but almost nobody has managed to even come close to capturing the foul, almost avant-garde noisiness that these guys belched out. Read's horrifying snarling screams can sometimes degenerate into weird electronically-processed vocal noises, and songs will suddenly collapse into blasts of over-modulated, reverb-drenched noise, or bizarre insectile buzzing will swarm across the depths of the mix. That stuff gives this a disturbing, alien feel, like the disgusting fluttering oscillator-like effects that beat their black wings beneath the churning deathblast of "Kingdom Against Kingdom", or the blasts of almost industrial pandemonium that erupt in the middle of the title track. While the riffs are certainly vicious, they are swept up in such a storm of distortion and blastbeat chaos that it all washes together into a blur of hateful sonic violence, the most punishing moments on the album arising when Read suddenly decelerates into one of his barbaric, almost tribal breakdowns amid that blur of blackened blastnoise.

      Disc two compiles everything else the band did, including the material from the 1997 Osmose compilation World Domination II, the split with Black Witchery, the 1996 demo tape Anti-Christ Superiority, and their cover of "Christ's Death" by Sarcofago. Even on the earliest material, Conqueror's sound was incredibly savage, and there's an almost industrial feel to some of the booming metallic percussion that thunders throughout these tracks. That demo from '96 in particular is something you need to hear if you're obsessed with the whole Ross Bay/bestial noise-metal aesthetic, just undiluted savagery from start to finish. In total, this collection is pretty much the last word in irradiated nuclear metal chaos, a distillation of the unending warfare that continues to enfold our planet into pure sound, and one of the few true essential entries into the "war metal" genre you're ever going to need.


Track Samples:
Sample : CONQUEROR-War.Cult.Supremacy (Reissue)
Sample : CONQUEROR-War.Cult.Supremacy (Reissue)
Sample : CONQUEROR-War.Cult.Supremacy (Reissue)
Sample : CONQUEROR-War.Cult.Supremacy (Reissue)
Sample : CONQUEROR-War.Cult.Supremacy (Reissue)


FORN  The Departure of Consciousness  LP   (Vendetta)   17.99
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At last got around to stocking this impressive recent album from Boston's Forn, now that it’s gotten a second pressing (sans the striking obi band that wrapped around the jacket for the first edition of the LP). This album has been steadily amassing accolades from both press and purchasers since coming out a few years ago, due to its powerful, punishing expression of atmospheric doom metal, delivering a six-song set of glacial gloom and scorched-earth ambience that blends together with just the right amount of grinding industrial-tinged soundscapery to transport this music into an upper echelon of sonic dread. Balancing stark beauty in one hand and incredible ugliness in the other, this really drags you down into a state of exquisite melancholy that's hard to beat. And when they flip the switch in grisly ultra-doom, it feels like cave walls crumbling down around you.

The album's intro track is entirely instrumental, weaving grating factory-rumble loops around swells of severely downtuned guitar and enshrouding it all in a heavy black fog of end-time dread, but it's the second song "Dweller On The Threshold" that really bulldozes across your soul, with a massive gravitational pull emanating from the band's massive guitar tone and the stomping, violent power of the rhythm section as they lumber through these black fogbanks, heavy enough to rival any other new doom metal album that came out at the time, but with those stately guitar melodies that they weave and wind around the imposing slo-mo heaviosity. That guitar work really towers over this album, unfurling twin guitar harmonies and demented licks that puts 'em in a similar league as the likes of Thou, Asunder and Samothrace, as point of comparison. But Forn also incorporate more of a black metal influence throughout this record as well, with the songs sometimes rupturing into violent blackened riffery and gales of frostbitten blast beats that flash by in a blizzard-blur of speed and ice, injecting some nicely-done dynamics into their crushing torpor. The vocals are a special kind of filthy, as well, impossibly deep, reverberant low growls that sound like an inhuman presence emanating from deep inside an abandoned mine, only to suddenly change into a scouring high-pitched shriek that throws everything into a panic. It's all really immense, insanely oppressive stuff that gazes into the void, surrounded by susurrant sighs and coldly gleaming starlight. Tracks like "Gates Of The Astral Plane" couple utterly bone-rattling low-end rumble with more of the elegiac arrangements that prove to be an essential ingredient of Forn's sound, along with a tendency towards strange time changes and painfully abrupt tempo shifts. And the plaintive, Godspeed You Black Emperor-esque passages of fragile minor-key guitar and somber, laid-back despondent instrumental stretches on tracks like "Suffering In The Eternal Void" and the brief respite of “Cerebral Intermission“ that erupt into titanic dirge are also all quite moving, grand and cinematic as they drift delicately between the plate-grinding tectonic tremors. Deserving of the attention that this album has been getting since its release.

Gorgeously macabre illustrations from Natures Mortes imbue this with added power.



CLAUDIO SIMONETTI'S GOBLIN  The Murder Collection  LP PICTURE DISC   (Rustblade)   31.00
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Shit has gotten completely out of hand with the Goblin guys. It seems we're now looking at least four different versions of the band that are currently active, presumably due to internal dysfunction amongst the founding members. It's making it tough to keep track of what's what. On the other hand, there's a LOT of Goblin related stuff coming out, whereas ten years ago it was virtually impossible to, say, find a decent copy of Suspiria here in the US without having to sell a kidney to fund the venture. I'm planning on stocking the new Goblin Rebirth album that just came out from Relapse, as what I've heard so far has been pretty terrific. Right now, however, I'm having a Simonetti moment. He started working with the Italian industrial music label Rustblade recently, and suddenly we're getting all kinds of cool stuff from the famed Goblin keyboardist. You'll find the brand new thirtieth anniversary reissue of Simonetti's awesome Demons score elsewhere on this week's new arrivals list, one of my favorite recent horror soundtrack reissues, and here we have a less-essential (but still plenty enjoyable) limited edition picture disc from Simonetti that (once again) sees him revisiting some of Goblin's most classic themes.

Released under the name Claudio Simonetti's Goblin, The Murder Collection is a collectable art-object/collection of revamped themes from the band, which is really just a renamed version of Daemonia, Simonetti's long running heavy metal/prog rock outfit. I'm a fan of Daemonia's stuff as well, so it's a blast hearing them do new rearranged versions of nine of Goblin's best-loved tracks, adding some of that metallic edge that Daemonia has always had. They don't stray too far from the feel of the originals, but longtime Goblin fans will definitely notice a difference; Simonetti's synthesizers are given prominence, so if you're a fan of his iconic electronic textures and style, you'll get a lot of that with this record. The new version of "Phenomena" particularly sticks out, the band reworking the second half of the song into a monstrous Hammond-dosed boogie, and Zombi's "L'alba Dei Morti Viventi" gets some serious metallic chug added to the song's sinister, droning prog rock groove. The version of "Roller" that appears here is lushly arranged, and "Non Ho Sonno" is given more metallic bite than before; a rendition of "E Suono Rock" off of Goblin's classic 1978 album Il Fantastico Viaggio Del "Bagarozzo" Mark is turned into a stunning piece of jazz-laced prog metal, and the record is capped off with an especially rollicking version of "Zombi". It's all classic stuff that's hardly necessary for fans who already own the original scores, but if you're a big Simonetti / Daemonia junkie, it's an enjoyable alternate take on this music. Gorgeous to boot, though the "spooky child" artwork seems a little too contemporary for this sort of stuff. Released in a limited hand-numbered edition of four hundred ninety-nine copies on 180 gram vinyl; all of the copies that we received from the distributor do not include the obi strip that apparently came with some of these records, FYI.



VARIOUS ARTISTS  ScatterBrain JukeBox 3  DVD   (Statutory Tape)   7.99
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SIMONETTI, CLAUDIO  Opera (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)  CD   (Rustblade)   17.99
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WOLF EYES  Mugger  CASSETTE   (Wolf Eyes)   9.99
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BUTTHOLE SURFERS  Blind Eye Sees All (Live In Detroit 1985)  DVD   (MVD)   13.99
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ACTUARY / GNAW THEIR TONGUES  split  LP   (Black Horizons)   19.99
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Two Crucial Blast alumni teamed together for this solid split LP that came out in 2016 on the excellent Black Horizons label, with both bands belting out some bleak, intensely abrasive blackened noise dredged out of the sonic Styx.

Unsurprisingly for anyone who's already borne witness to the often nightmarish electronic hellscapes that LA-area noise vets Actuary has previously unleashed, their material on the A-side of this record is suffocatingly dark and oppressive stuff. The two tracks ("A Grand Tradition Of Overreaction" and "Concrete Outings ") each unfurl into huge swathes of rumbling machine noise and unnerving mewling drones that are further strafed with bits of malfunctioning high-voltage electronics, merciless junk-noise avalanches, screams of crushed computer hard drives, ultra-heavy low-end klaxon-like blasts, huge swells of violent, distorted throb and constant surges of immense, ravenous deep-space gamma-static. These guys have always worn their Bastard Noise influence proudly on their sleeve, and that style of fearsome psychedelic electronic overload pervades the entire side. All of their elements congeal into a roiling, fearsome, rhythmic mass of sound, hinting at times at the occult cosmic ambience of classic outfits like Herbst9 and Inade, while also emitting a hideous harsh-noise noise element that moves this into a far more abrasive and alien direction. The dread level is high here, every moment swathed in a strange apocalyptic vibe that both mesmerizes and discomforts, their controlled, heavy-as-fuck chaos issuing deadly levels of radiation.

Gnaw Their Tongues counters with an interesting blend of field recordings, free-form clatter and stygian ambience over on his side, with ululating voices and raucous shouting that at first manifests as feeling like you are racing through the dimly-lit back alleys of a Moroccan marketplace, but then quickly locates and plunges through a jagged hole in the earth as "Blood Rites Of The Hex Temple" descends through a black-fog delirium of dreadful orchestral brass, insectile percussion, whirring noise and booming tympani. Like some ketamine-fueled night-terror that is scored by a collaboration between Ligeti or Penderecki and Nurse With Wound, the rest of the side continues to unfold into an utterly chilling likeminded symphony of dread, as "Into The Fire Thou Servant of Pain " and "As Above So Below" spread out with blasts of dissonant and terrifying orchestral sound, gurgling murky electronics, swathes of witchy, screechy violin sections, groups of ceremonial chanting voices, tribal beats, and endless torrents of AMM-esque improvisational drumming, only later becoming possessed by the gibbering demonic shrieks that are Mories' trademark with this project. The use of acoustic sounds, freeform clatter and field recordings set this apart from what you might expect from a Gnaw Their Tongues experience. It's more of the band's signature sound, overwhelming and dense and abstract, and thoroughly hellish.

Very nicely presented with a beautifully laid out and minimalist visual aesthetic, using some really striking landscape photography to match the desolation that was undoubtedly left in the wake of this recording. Limited to three hundred copies.



CONTREPOISON  Discography 2010-2012  2 x LP   (Hospital Productions)   24.00
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GEHENNA / BLEACH EVERYTHING  Heavy Metal Suicide  7" VINYL   (Magic Bullet)   6.98
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RIPPING CORPSE  Dreaming With The Dead  CD   (Kraze)   10.98
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CORRUPTED / NOOTHGRUSH  split  LP   (20 Buck Spin)   21.00
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CYBER-PSYCHOS A.O.D.  Issue 8  MAGAZINE   (CyberPsychos AOD Publishing)   6.00
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RADAR MEN FROM THE MOON  The Bestial Light  LP   (Fuzz Club Records)   24.99
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Queasy chiming guitar twang winds around the inexorable pulse of hi-hat and other cymbal work, while a plain keyboard chord progression climbs across the background, and then "Breeding" totally kicks in and we are somewhere notably removed from the power-amplified space rock / psychedelia of Radar Men's previous records; that opener is all basic tension building energy pulling taut amid keening masculine yowls and a suddenly skull-cracking dirge being played out between the drummer and bassist. It's right there in the first fiew minutes that you can hear the early-Swans influence that more folks have been ascribing to Bestial Light, and when it all comes crashing down and that knuckle-dragging two-chord riff really takes over the joint and rubs your snout in the swill, it's tough to argue. Hardly a lick of the Hawkwindian / Acid Mothers Temple-esque cosmic wave-riding these guys dished out on the earlier Fuzz Club discs, but this is way more up my alley, naturally. That opening song has around six and a half minutes of some of the finest psychedelic scum-dirge that's skulked through this compound in a while.

That combo of sneering and sardonic post-punk, post-industrial clank, sauropod drum hammering, Iggy-on-'ludes ranting, and earth-shifting blasts of incredible atavistic heaviness keeps coming as you make your way through such sonic monsters as "Piss Christ" (which feels like the ugliest Birthday Party moments boiled down to an easily injectable hypno-trance), the dissonant clamor of "Sacred Cunt Of The Universe" that transmutes a hideous guitar chord and slowburn percussive power into stunning cinematic sprawl (with the group's psych roots really taking flight here, blazing and beautiful saxophone sounds ascending into the heavens while things turn all Floydian for a while), "Eden In Reverse" and its snotty snarl, once again two-note riff wrapped in bludgeoning bass guitar thud, scouring six-string atonality adding up to a perversely catchy hook that finally explodes into wild ferocity. But man, when these guys turn it around in a more atmopsheric and wondrous vista, they really knock it out; carefully layered among all that grueling sludgy dirge are a number of breathtaking sonic scenes that stop me dead in my tracks with each spin. The title track, though, materializes into a pure ritualistic drift of sound, echoing vocals and ominous droning synthesizers hovering in space for a bit before the album's most punishing No Wave-damaged power-dirge builds and builds and explodes into this almost militarized industrial-metal-esque battery that stretches on andd out, opening up at spots to let each of the musicians breathe within that monstrous staccato chug. After that it gets more relentless, the merauding bass slither ans sax squall of "Self" that shapes it into an unsettling personal (anti-)affirmation mantra, some more of that weird dusty twang emerging in "Pleasure" that warps the time signature into something even twitchier as that gives over to closer "Levelling Dust".

Kinda passes for an album from the cusp of the 80s/90s shift, which isn't a complaint on my end. I definitely dig the rawer and more spare production you give bands like this

Drunkdriver, Brainbombs, Kilslug, Clockcleaner, early Melvins, maybe even fellow Dutchmen Gore to a smaller extent - a heavy vibe of ugly, difficult and damaged

that previous aggro "space rock" heard ion their excellent Subversive trilogy of albums was great stuff, the sort of lysergic, summoning sensory overload that's like the sort of thing the guys at Neurot often champion, but this divergence, either momentary or a sign of even mangier things to come, locked up with me at an almost genetic level


Track Samples:
Sample : Breeding
Sample : Levelling Dust
Sample : Sacred Cunt Of The Universe


ANGELA MARTYR  The November Harvest  CD   (Avantgarde Music)   11.99
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Despite crafting some of the best "doomgaze" I've heard, Morgan Bellini's projects have been woefully under recognized, at least in my mind. His older work as Vanessa Van Basten was incredible, rivaling the sky-burning grandeur of Nadja with its massive melodic slowcore, blending the industrial-tinged pneumatic power of Swans and Godflesh while weaving various influences from classic darkwave, Teutonic psych / prog, Scadinavian black metal elements, and the "post-metal" (ugh, forgive me) crush of later Neurosis. Perhaps it was the band name (naming your band after a person, real or no, is usually a stumbling block for potential listeners), or the fact that Vanessa Van Basten were entirely instrumental. For whatever reason, even though one orf their later albums came out on the high-profile label Robotic Empire, the duo remained a cult entity. And that seems to be the case as well for Angela Martyr, again with the name, but this time a little more in synch with the feel and look of this slightly different band that's essentially a Bellini solo project. It's safe to say that if you are one of the few people who were as bewitched by Vanessa Van Basten as I've been, you may well connect with this semi-continuation of that kind of slow-motion, earth-moving, skull-crushing majesty. But it's pursuing that sound down a very different avenue. It's definitely something of a misfit on Avantgarde, a label best known for its, er, more avant-garde black metal offerings. If anything, this album shares some of that gauzy, glazed-over beauty you get from the stuff that comes out on the Avantgarde side-label Flowing Downward. In any case, 2016's The November Harvest is great stuff.

To date, it's the only album from the band. The label mentions the likes of Godflesh, Slowdive, and Dance Of December Souls / Brave Murder Day-era Katatonia as touch points for the music; as much of a hodgepodge as that might seem, it's actually pretty accurate once you get sucked into the monstrous undertow of Martyr's sound. Dissonant guitars ripple over the beginning of "Deviant" as it morphs into a dark, metallic gloom-pop melody, Bellini delivering his vocals in a droning, honeyed croon that meshes nicely with the driving heaviness and swirling sludginess; his multi-tracked vocals and sonorous tone slightly reminds me of a young Layne Staley crossed with a bit of Chino Moreno. That aforementioned black metal influence is so faint as to be almost imperceptible, heard in the swarming tremolo-picked guitar riffs that move in currents beneath the album's stately pace. Detuned guitars grind and lurch through the frequent time changes and sometimes angular songwriting. It's an arresting sound, dark and brooding, the drumming possessed of a somewhat industrial feel, and the overall sound is immense. The more I listen, the more I feel the spirit of the more imaginative and abrasive heavy alternative rock that was coming out in the early 1990s. Definitely a weird kind of lost nostalgia hovers over the album. But there's this pending apocalyptic atmosphere as well that clings to every crushng chord and soul-stirring lyric.

Some of the songs feature guest performances: on "Deviant" and "Serpent", Bellini incorporates Valentina Soligo on strings (probably viola and violin, from the sound of it), to striking effect; for the songs "Deathwish" and "Negative Youth", he's joined by backing vocalist Igor Rojas, who assists with soaring, soulful harmonies with Bellini. Huge doom-laden grooves plow through "Georgina" and "Deathwish", the latter rumbling with killer guitar tone and strange, bluesy undercurrent even as it falls into an almost Jesu-like enormity. Darkening thunderclouds amass over each song. "Serpent" slips into even slower and more pulverizing downtuned heaviness, with the looming presence of funeral doom-like crush creeping through the gales of billowing guitar noise, which often expands into huge cloudscapes of dreamy distortion and looping noise. Time signatures become more complex on "Negative Youth" and "On The Edge Of Next Time" turns into a kind of industrial doom-pop with machinelike percussion and more of that funeral-doom guitar tone. At the end, the almost fourteen minute title track finale brings all of these sounds together into a massive industrial-tinged shoegaze / noise pop epic, with a midway detour into sprawling, lovely electronica, and it's awesome.

Actually, you know what? Do you miss the feeling you'd get from the expressive, textured rock of stuff like Hum, Failure, and Swervedriver? This brings it. Slower and much, much heavier, with the weight of a collapsing star, but man, it brings it. Comes in a DVD-style digipak with a twelve-page lyric/art booklet bound into the packaging; quite nice, with some really striking typography.



FUDGE TUNNEL  In A Word  CD   (Earache)   14.99
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G.I.S.M.  Military Affairs Neurotic (M.A.N.)  CD   (Relapse)   14.99
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Track Samples:
Sample : Meaning Corrupted 1 (Fatigue)
Sample : Anatomy Love Violence Gism
Sample : Good As It Is


TIWINAKU  Earth Base One  CD   (Unorthodox Emanations)   17.99
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GHOST TOWER  Head Of Night  CD   (Paragon)   9.99
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Unfortunately short-lived (operating from 2007 to 2012 and then momentarily reuniting in 2016), this Nebraska band delivered some excellent (if underheard) old-school heavy metal that cites the sort of influences that make my withered heart sing: surrounding themselves with their collective appreciation of traditional doom metal, 70's/early 80's-era progressive rock, New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, and ancient horror films, Ghost Tower does a fine job at crafting the kind of spooky, vintage-sounding metal that you'd easily expect to hear coming from Minotauro or Cruz Del Sur Records. With specific musical influences like Mercyful Fate and Black Sabbath fueling the sound of their eerie vision, the music on Head Of Night is total time-warp metal, transporting you to an alternate 1982 as soon as the opening strains of "Ninth Tooth Of The Gravekeeper's Grin" start to drift off the album. Out of all of the Paragon releases that I recently picked up, this might be my favorite alongside the latest Dimentianon. Packing in mood and might for nearly an hour, these folks hammer down twelve high-quality songs of haunted heaviness that are made all the more menacing thanks to the weird and witchy lead vocals of frontwoman Ameven. Her voice is tough, raw and unpolished, which I really dig, and materializes into all kind of angusihed moans and some surprisingly King Diamond-esque howls (the Mercyful Fate influence is pretty strong with these folks); those vocals are contrasted with more abrasive, gruff screaming from both her and multi-instrumentalist Matt Preston, amnd also drop some off-kilter harmonies here and there.

The album is a slab of primo throwback misery metal, and oh is crawling with riffs, massive riffs, galloping fast-paced riffs galore on stuff like opener "Ninth Tooth Of The Gravekeeper's Grin" (which sounds like it could have come off some little-known British 12" import at the height of the NWOBHM, the heroic melodic leads screaming over their burly palm-muted power hymns. The track titles alone glow with occult mysstery and vintage horror visions ("Secret Of Black Moss Lake", "House Of Wary Shadows", "Scroll Of The Lunar Tribe") and that air of menace and darkness sinks into every song. And it blows my hair back when they suddenly downshift from that rapid-fire riffing and rocking tempo into some cavernois trad-doom heaviness, Ameven's husky singing rising over these killer church organ-style keys and swirling clouds of slow-motion spookiness. And those doom-laden moments are often crushing, with massive chugging, battering-ram riffs hitting like a sledgehammer. The proggier qualities become more and more apparent as you make your way through the album, encountering sudden, technical riff changes, a few wild time changes, extended lead guitar fireworks, passages of Hammond-esque sound and tricky effects-draped guitars and offbeat synth runs tangled on the instrumental "Brooding Silence" and maudlin closer "Elegy Of Dreamtime". All of that stuff floats quite nicely together, giving some ghostly ambience that surrounds the riff-fest and shredding that make up so much of Head Of Night and its rough, almost garagey production that also helps in giving it all an older, more classic early 80's sensibility. I'm usually a sucker for anyone that blends vintage trad doom and prog influences, and these folks deliver with their own gritty, slightly gnarly signature carved right into the heavy metal attack. Along with that obvious Fate element, the Tower is also reminiscent of cult heavy metallers Twisted Tower Dire, as well as touches of Judgement Of The Dead-era Pagan Altar, hints of Reager-period Vitus, and to a lesser degree, more contemporary femme-fronted doom metal bands like Witch Mountain and Windhand. And it sounds sincere as fuck, which goes a long way to endear this style of metal to me. The roughness of the vocals and Ghost Tower's odd proggy quirks and sometimes jarring stylistic shifts might be something of an acquired taste, perhaps. But if you're a fanatic for that aforementioned field of classic early 1980's power and majesty, man, this album's got it.

This Paragon CD reissue features an additional trio of songs at the end: a pair of songs recorded in 2010 ("My Dear Killer" and the weird experimental creepiness of "Whispers From Beyond"), and a 2008 demo track "Sable Beldam" that busts out some ripping lo-fi speed metal.



OVO / CLAUDIO ROCCHETTI  split  7" VINYL   (Wallace)   7.99
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Whoah, here's another deep crate find of some older Ovo-relarted stuff, this Italian import pairs Ovo's avamt-garde sludge-punk / avant-metal with the occult soundscapery of Claudio Rocchetti. Both of these italian artists are pretty far from each other in regards to sound source, intensity, violence, etc.,

Please don't mind the kiddie-emo look of this 7"s sleeve; the sounds engraved here are

Ovo's pair make me feel like I'm nodding off on allergy meds while the waste company is backing up their truck outside my window. It's in league with most of the duo's material that ends up on these splits: berserk, potentially unstable freakouts of unfettered cathartic expression, Stefania mixing together her haughty witchlike howl with fucking gross death metal-style guttural vomit. Musically you never know what you're getting; both of the Ovo songs are shiort, "Carestia" erupting into droning, noise-damaged bass-heavy and discordant sludge that lurches along violently until it all slams into a wall, while the cackling "In A Corner" at barely a minute and a half conjures a creeped-out ghostdrone vibe, atomizes into pure shriek, high-voltage electric buzzing, crushing blasts of glacial drums, but likewise ultimately going nowhere but thin air. Heavy? Yes. Improvised? Could be. These two always set my hair on end with everyt5hing I hear from them, so mission accomplished on that front.

Where this gets really intriguing is on the flip. The Claudio Rocchetti side is strangely copacetic with that grotesque and frightening avant-sludge on the first side. For almost five minutes, "The Black Lake" crumbles apart into a genuinely eerie-sounding electro-acoustic soundscape, one teeming with constant low-frequency electronic drones, fragments of minor-key acoustic guitar, , seemingly endless clusters of scrape and knock and rattle like a sudden rush of poltergeist activity during a doom-folk set, with some perfectly lovely female singing lilting over certain moments of the piece, an almost childlike, dazed tone to her voice as it seems to sync with those guitar chords for a moment, but then become untethered and adrift over the fields of microscopic, potentially malevolent acoustic noises. This feels like something that could have been shaped into a much longer, even more unsettling piece of abstract sound, so yeah, I'm definitely going to be on the lookout for more Rocchetti material after this. Oh, and the guy prints a quote from an Iron Maiden song in the insert, so that's neat.


Track Samples:
Sample : OVO - Carestia
Sample : CLAUDIO ROCCHETTI - The Black Lake


MARCH VIOLETS, THE  Play Loud Play Purple: Complete Singles 1982-1985 & More  2 x LP   (Jungle Records)   34.99
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CREMATION GROUNDS  Abortion Sacrament  3" CD   (Crucial Blast)   9.00
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Similar to the recent online-only (thus far) release of the long-thought-lost Cremation Grounds full-length Lord Of Nerves, the 20-minute EP Abortion Sacrament is another recording that was produced in the late 2000s and had been thought lost for fifteen years due to the destruction of the hard drive that contained the original masters. As part of a recent organizing effort here at Crucial Blast, almost all of these recordings were recently rescued from that cursed external drive, and have been resurrected and remastered for your listening displeasure.

Coming from one of the preeminent entities of the Order Of The Warhead, the three-track Abortion Sacrament EP is the very first release that Cremation Grounds recorded around 2008-2009, and like other recordings of the era, dislodges a bog-damn of insanely misanthropic black noise / heavy electronics, gruesome blown-out industrial sludge, crushing harsh-noise-wall style constructions, and an overdriven recording style that may well have been itself the cause of that hard drive's suffering and collapse. Again, the gist of these tracks is pure in-the-red evil electronic obliteration, much of it crafted by the entities behind Cremation Grounds as a kind of "meditation through abomination" strategy, utilizing the recordings for deep meditative sessions typically accompanied by sacred entheogens, assorted psychedelics (both natural and otherwise), acts of self-debasement and self-abuse, extended scatalogical ritual, and the disintegration of the ego in the churning jet-black oceans of searing distortion and low-end rumbling rot that dominate the sessions.

Abortion Sacrament does not have quite as much of the molten scum-dirge that is found on the Lord Of Nerves full-length. But these three tracks make up for it in all-out sense-wrecking chaos and over-modulated electronic violence. Drums, vocals and percussion all exist within the roiling black-static detonations of the title track and "Spread Wide Upon Her Cremation Grounds (Adorned In Bone Ornaments)", but they have been destroyed completely by walls of crumbling, crackling electronic distortion, with the occasional muffled roar of guttural, monstrous vocalizations breaking through the carnage.

As with the album, this material skews hard towards the harsh noise / black noise end of the sound spectrum, but likewise takes a great deal of inspiration from the diabolic filth of ancient, dissolving Finnish black/death demos. This sonic abhorrence crawls before the cracked and damaged altars of Macronympha, the no-fi bestial hiss of the earliest Beherit demos, classic Japanese noise a la Pain Jerk and Incapacitants, and the aura of eighth-generation dubs of Archgoat rehearsal tapes, all grown together into a swollen, pulsating, cancerous mass of cacophonous horror.

The EP is available on 3" CD in DVD-size packaging, hand-numbered in an edition of 90 copies. Sacrament is also available on audio cassette in a limited run of 100 copies, with a bonus tape-only track on the B-side titled "Enfolded In The Engorged Lips Of Kali", another nineteen-minute harsh blackened heavy electronics meditation that was recorded around 2010. Both the 3" CD and Cassette versions of Abortion Sacrament include full-color inserts and a vinyl Cremation Grounds sticker.


Track Samples:
Sample : Spread Wide Upon Her Creamtion Grounds (Adorned In Bone Ornaments)
Sample : They Will Make Cemeteries Their Cathedrals And The Cities Will Be Your Tombs
Sample : Abortion Sacrament (Devil Rite)


AN ABSTRACT ILLUSION  Woe  2 x LP   (Willowtip)   33.99
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L7  The Beauty Process: Triple Platinum  LP   (Real Gone Music)   27.99
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Track Samples:
Sample : Lorenza, Giada, Alessandra
Sample : Must Have More
Sample : Bad Things


SCHULZE, KLAUS  Next Of Kin (OST)  LP   (Roundtable)   36.99
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A cult slab of Berlin School horror-electronics that was recently issued in tandem with a new Blu-ray release of the film, which I have actually yet to see. I've certainly known about it, though; 1982's Next Of Kin has built up quite the buzz amongst horror film aficianodos in the past, earning a reputation as a tightly-made and atmopshere-heavy psychological horror film. Some circles have even referred to it as an Australian take on the giallo genre, but with heavy doses of chilly, spare ambience a la Kubrick's The Shining. I can't wait to see it, obviously. But this long-awaited vinyl edition of the original soundtrack is pretty enjoyable on its own, and a no-brainer for fans of Klaus Schulze's work.

The background to this soundtrack is one of the most convoluted things i have ever read.

As it stands, the music here is exemplary. The title theme pairs droning synth and a steady snare / kickdrum backbeat to excellent minimalist effect, a sorrowful minor-key melody taking shape over the course of the track. It exudes a powerful mounrful moodiness from the start. Synth-strings emerge as more expressive tom rolls and polyrhythmic patterns take over, the result being a masterful spook-prog workout. The following pieces range from the bassy Moog-esque throb and darting keys of "Love Theme" and "Rhythm Fugue"'s pumping arpeggios, scintillating background sounds and deep, sinister bass beat , to the disturbing dissonance of "Body In Bath " and the motorik drive of "Next Of Kin". Schulzes' signatire chordal clusters, flurries of rapid-fire notes, and hypnotic arpeggiated sequencers mark almost every piece utilized here. All throughout the soundtrack, you also get these subtle romantic orchestral pads and exotic tonal percussion accompaniment, bursts of strange and distressing atonal sound, washes of abstract metallic shimmer, deep cosmic fields, fusion-tinged gestures, spectral moans, reverb-filled spaces of ethereal drift, and sprawls of terrifying electronic ambience. Several tracks have a very similar feel to Tangerine Dream's work of the same time period, which is no surprise. But the mood and intensity is different, a sensation of impending violence and a constant aura of dread flowing through the entire score. It stands as some of Schulzes' creepiest work.

The highlight of this soundtrack is the final "End Theme ", in which Schulze draws forth eerie electronically-generated voices that sing in a strange lilting fashion over a pulsating backbeat that could have been featured in an Argento film. It's unique in the collcrtion of pieces, a tense chorus of digital ghosts wandering amongst cavorting roto-toms and

I want to point out that this release has some of the best liner notes I've seen lately. The label presents a very nice heavyweight inner sleeve that has an entire article / essay on the one side, that goes into considerable depth on Schulze's development of the score, the making of the film itself, and puts all of this context with the state of Australian cinema at the time - it's an engrossing read. The other side of the sleeve has the original haunting poster one-sheet and some key stills from the film. Again, visually and info-wise, this soundtrack release is of very high quality.

Australian import.


Track Samples:
Sample : Title Theme
Sample : Body In Bath
Sample : Crash Loop


WILLIAMS, ROZZ  And What About The Bells?  BOOK   (Eygennutz Verlag)   69.95
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TROUM + RAISON D'ETRE  De Aeris In Sublunaria Influxu  2 x LP   (Cyclic Law)   28.99
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SU19B  The World Doomed To Violence  CASSETTE   (Grind Today)   11.99
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Didn't realize it until I looked up the record on Discogs.com, but I was surprised to find that The World Doomed To Violence is actually the first-ever full-length album from this longrunning Japanese grind/sludge outfit, despite them having been around for around twenty years. During all that time, Su19b have mainly focused on releasing their music as splits with other bands, but it's taken them all this time to finally deliver their own album. And boy it it a beast. From it's stark black and white artwork that combines anatomical imagery with old-school death metal style horrors, to the band's rapid-fire assault of ultra-heavy powerviolence, this record is grim stuff. Starting off with a statick-laced noisescape draped in sinister voices and samples, billowing gusts of dark ambient sound and rumbling distorted guitar drones, the epic title track unfurls slowly across the beginning of the aklbum, as monstrously slow and abject as Corrupted, the guttural inhuman gurgling vocals oozing over the slo-motion crawl. But that rapidly mutates into a frenzy of shifting brutality, erupting into sludgy punk-fueled death metal and hyperspeed blastcore and depth-charge doom, vacillating between these sounds over the course of the track. From there the rst of the album blasts through shorter songs, but continues to shamble monstrously through that increasingly weird melange of sludge-encrusted metal, and further lacing this violent combo of powerviolent chaos and molten, rotten deathdoom with eerie chantlike vocals, short, brooding passages of windswept slowcore-like minimalism, surges of chaotic lopsided hardcore and intense Merzbowian electronic noise, and even the occasional searing twin-guitar harmony.

Those powerviolence traits are all over this, from the barbaric hyperfast hardcore riffing to the sudden and jarring start/stop arrangements, but they shroud those elements in a ghastly glacial death metal heavioisty that makes it all sound freshly bizarre

Might be the heaviest stuff from them so far, continuing to mine that Corrupted-meets-Crossed Out sound that the band christened back in 1997



DEATH FACTORY  Artifact Events  CASSETTE   (No Sides)   9.98
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Rightously lobe-melting 2022 full-length of psychotronic electro-gargle that came out on the longrunning No Sides imprint, whose head William Sides also appears within this newer duo-setup for Death Factory. This outfit is an institution in the Chicago avant-noise underground, hammering it out for more than thirty-five years now. With Sides beside him, DF's main noisemaker Michael Krause dives right back into the vat of dark industrial, oily electronic noise, and crazed psych-synth mayhem that the Factory has been churning out for decades now. The image of these two smartly-dressed gentlemen on the cover of Artifact Events might lead you to think this is a moer "academic" style foray into experimental electronics, but this seventy-minute maelstrom is straight chaos. Not quite as gnarled as the Invisible Agressor tape I did with Death Factory nearly a decade ago, but still tough stuff.

Gettin' some supreme creep here. Artifact starts off slow and shadowy, languid over-modulated drones rising and falling in swells over a super-minimal bass melody; this fourteen minute meditation piece "Hymn For Ruination" comes from the same kind of suppressed nightmare circuity that birthed that Invisible Aggressor I put out through C-Blast. A wall of soft, pulsating fuzz and electrical hum surrounds the vague musical gestures and barely-formed figures riding those billowy shadows, this epic death-drone gradually increasing in mass and density as it continues to unfurl. Killer. I love the far-off minor key laments that surface here and there, resembling stray bits of funereal organ trying to make their way past the omniprerxent voltage hum. Heavier chordal textures materialize, these deep, slowly roiling fragments of sorrowful music shrouded in all of that hiss and buzz and warping sinewave movements. A kind of damaged funeral-drone. The sound just throbs out of my speakers.

That placid murkscape is then shredded to fuckin' pieces by the ghastly harsh electronics of "Shellshock Mantra", insane whooping cries impossibly tangled in screeching, fluctuating feedback, bizarre synth gibberish, peals of tortured twisted metal, weird horn-like bleats over a rumbling sub-strata of distored bass churn; a total destructive anxiety attack in league with Pain Jerk or the really violent C.C.C.C. stuff, melting down into a crushing wave of psychedelic chaos. "Statues" is likewise a total skull-shred, high-pitched electronic feedback and tone abuse whipping around hard metallic drones and looped mechanical rumble. This tape just keeps flying further into total pandemonium, trippy and terrifying as these often fifteen-minute plus pieces come screaming in across the smoking ruins of the previous track, spaced-out synthesizer agonies being stacked one upon the other, that whipstrike sinewave fuckery leaving deep, bloody gashes in your flesh. So much abusive modulation of signals, reaching heights of heaviness I did not expect.

"Afterglow" returns to a semblance of that original state of pulsing grace: multiple rhythmic loops trip and stumble over each other as more feedback-generated anti-melodies take shape and writhe in the air before you. What sounds like a destroyed Moog synth starts swirling around the dundering beat-loops, evoking the scraps of some yesteryear psych-rock band being pulled like carrion strips from its crumbling skeletal frame - this is definitely one of my favorite parts of Artifact Events , this extended mantra of heavily mutated rock keyboards, like shredded ectoplasm from Hawkwind, or Gong, or maybe The 13th Floor Elevators, adhering to mesmerizing Merzbowian loops. Loops, loops, loops. Loops of acid synth, loops of found sound, loops of backwards drums carved into an ill off-kilter shuffle. Yeah, this is Death Factory at its most scouring, unleashing these lysergic effects-pedal seizures and howling drones with no regard for space or form; ruthless and blown-out psychedelic sadism. Has it all been building to this? Does the twenty-minute closer "Mount Cyanide" continue to chase this state of charred, wilting bliss? You bet it does. One final flight into volcanic electro-madness, the heaving breathing of some monstrous thing crawling up into a dementia of circuit-bent skree, cranked feedback and mangled sinewave, becoming a shadow of an air-raid siren while rapid blips and whirring machinery and looping , elliptical rhythms take shape once again, driving it all headfirst into a new blossoming colossus of sonic tribulation.

I've made a note to have this on hand te next time I go for the "heroic dose". God knows where I'll end up. Probably shrunken, dried, and curled in a corner of my own cratered skull.

Join me.


Track Samples:
Sample : Hymn For Ruination
Sample : Statutes
Sample : Mount Cyanide


FINAL EXIT  The Seasons Are Going And Going..And Lives Goes On  12"   (SPHC)   12.50
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      One of Final Exit's best releases gets a sweet vinyl release via Maryland noisepunk label SPHC, newly re-mastered and presented on a single-sided 12" in gatefold packaging that replicates the design of the original release. The short, twelve-song EP originally came out back in 2008 as a 3" CD on the American label Rage For All, and quickly became one of our favorite noisecore releases of the decade; nearly ten years later, Seasons still delivers an ecstatic frenzy, a mini-masterwork from this long running Japanese band that showcases their often-humorous, always intense rapid-fire cutup compositions at their finest. Limited to five hundred copies.

      Here's our original review of the CD: It's wild to see that this Japanese noisecore band is still around - the guitar and drums duo of Hisao and Ryohei have been at it since 1994, surely outliving almost every other band that formed in the wake of Anal Cunt. They even appeared on the double CD compilation Not Without A Fight that Crucial Blast released at the beginning of the decade. Final Exit are still raging though, and they've dropped this eleven minute EP on us to prove that they are one of the best blurrcore outfits in the biz. Unlike most bands that took cues from Anal Cunt and the early noisecore scene, Final Exit have evolved beyond the pure grinding blur of their earlier releases and have taken a more experimental, genre-hopping approach to their micro-blasts that takes its cues from Naked City's classic Torture Garden album. On this new 3" CD, all kinds of musical clusterbombs are tossed in with their blown out grindnoise; surf rock, electronica, infectious indie-pop jangle, covers of Iron Maiden's "Aces High" and Complex's "Be My Baby", gooey doom, No Neck style clatter, hardcore punk, 50's greaser vibes, jazz chords, and stretched out spans of Cageian silence are all interspersed with their savage blurry blasts of Anal Cunt style grindnoise and harsh Japanoise skree. Weird, spastic, glorious stuff, issued in a beautiful miniature gatefold jacket with full color photos of seasonal landscapes and Japanese folks on vacation in keeping with the seasonal theme of the EP.


Track Samples:
Sample : FINAL EXIT-The Seasons Are Going And Going..And Lives Goes On
Sample : FINAL EXIT-The Seasons Are Going And Going..And Lives Goes On
Sample : FINAL EXIT-The Seasons Are Going And Going..And Lives Goes On


CAUCHEMAR  La Vierge Noire  LP PICTURE DISC   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)   19.99
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DIE KREUZEN  Gone Away  CD   (Touch & Go)   14.99
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SLOGUN  Days Of Agony  CD   (Bloodlust!)   12.99
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MURDEROUS VISION  Ghosts Of The Soul Long Lost: Volume Two  2 x CD   (Live Bait)   14.99
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One of Murderous Vision's series of massive multi-disc compilations of rare material, Volume Two focuses on music recorded around the early 2000s with a combination of short-run CDR releases and never-before-released music; if you're getting heavy into this Ohio outfit's body of work, these compilations are crucial. One of the pre-eminent US purveyors of death industrial , Murderous Vision is actually a pretty varied project, with excursions into weirder tonal territory than your typical Cold Meat Industries release - this stuff can turn straight-up psychedelic on a dime, while still maintaining that grim, apocalyptic radiance. I'm a big fan of this stuff.

The entire first disc is an unreleased Murderous Vision album that was recorded from 2006 to 2008; produced around the same time as the Lifes Blood Death's Embrace album, this twelve-song collection, titled Cathartic Drifts In A Sea Of Sadness, lays on the same kind of grim and sprawling darkness that album focused on. Fusing together qualitieies of classic early dark ambient, vague neo-classical elements, late-80's "ritual ambient", morbid Cold Meat Industries-style death industrial, and various occult imagery, Drifts is dense stuff. The symphonic synths of opener "In Hell We Will Burn...Together" conjure a very similiar vibe to the more "orchestral"-sounding dungeon synth that was appearing in the 2000s, but then mixes in commanding spoken-word vocals, ceremonial percussion and thunderous, almost militant tribal drumming with a rich acoustic presence, and creepy stabs of staccato strings. When "Upon Both Flesh And Soil " picks up from there, Petrus ascends into an even more cinematic scope as subtle, sublime Berlin School-style synths drift alongside mysterious voice transmissions, melting electronic signals, and faint but noticeable clouds of crackle and buzz.

It's dark, dark stuff, with those offbeat sudden turns into melodramatic blackened industrial that sounds like some alien wargoat reciting from ancient texts amid colossal blasts of huge, distant percussive rumble, looped Satanic strings, and pulsating, tumor-like rhythms; man, I absolutely love this era of Murderous Vision, his weird riff on European death industrial felt like it was suffused with whatever the hell was infecting the water and soil in northern Ohio. Like I've mentioned elsewhere, the vast bulk of the Cathartic Drifts material feels akin to a meeting point of Brighter Death Now, Kerovnian's black ambient, and the druggy ritual industrial sounds of groups like Psychonaut 75, Zero Kama , Herbst9 and Sigillum S, so there's definitely much to offer here if you're inclined to that sort of music. Oh and it grows stranger by the moment, oddly hopeful synth-murk smeared in filmic orchestrated blur whirling around troubling film samples of acts of violence and depravation, opening into rich fields of multi-layered electronic ambience, brief moments that feel like they could have seeped into this from a rain-damaged cassette copy of Tangerine Dream's score to The Keep, more pummeling kettledrum-esque rumble and ghostly clacking underscored with huge swathes of grinding sub-surface vibration, long sprawls of perverted religious musical forms, amorphous sinister driftscapes and heavy, rhythmic zoned-out trance states , monstrous chanting choirs and swells of mesmeric Teutonic synthesizers (like on the killer "Structures And Pathways" that sounds like Tangerine Dream held hostage by members of Les Legions Noires) , endlessly grinding stone and stygian throb of inhuman machinery, those drums and other percussion surfacing constantly throughout the seventy-minute-plus albumin all manner of forms to propel you further and further into the album's strange and often psychotropic interior abyss, but finding onesself standing amid emotional desolation with a haunting coda of acoustic strum and twang, keys, and layered voices that has a straight-out Swans feel to it.

If I'm ever wandering therough a skull-lined catacomb system on LSD, I'd want to have this "lost" album pouring into my ears. It's one of the coolest "unreleased albums" that I've heard.

We move to the second disc, where you get a mixture of out-of-print Live Bait CDR releases such as the 2009 Frozen In Morphia disc and a privately-issued 3" disc, capped off with another unreleased track, this one from 2006. Still trawling the abyss, beautifully so, but with some more unexpected and experimental forays into rhythmic structure. The eight-song Morphia (directly influenced by Aleistar Crowley's Diary Of A Drug Fiend) materializes in a thick fog of geo-physic subduction tremors, active drumming that veers from tribal ritual vibe to martial intensity and focus, more male and female voices emerging over spooky piano and spectral string sections, spoken word incantations and morbid poetics drifting over swirling noctural ambience. It's more collaborative than other MV releases from that era, and goes into some interesting directions. Almost every single track here gives itself over to some new drumming pattern, often fully present and up front in the mix as slow hypnotic beats rumble beneath smears of dreary synth, folky strum and intricately fingerpicked melody, again hinting at that bleak psychedelia that Petrus really started to get into towards the latter half of the decade. Of course, that gloomy title track is followed by the smoldering death industrioal of "Through The Motes Of Dust " and the sickening morgue-drone of "Clawmarks In The Muck " that pull you back down into stinking, sulfuric machine fumes and daemonic muttering, so the atmopshere on Morphia is, well, fairly amorphous. And then there's "Secular Assault " that comes out of nowhere as a full band emerges with this killer industrial dirge-metal assault, massively distorted riffs and slithering bass and slow motion earthmover drumming, monstrous seething screams buried in distortion; with weird dubby elements to the echoing snare and walking basslines, this one threw me for a loop, part Winter-esque deathsludge, part dub-infected delusion, part early Swans-style repetitious assault. I can't think of anywhere else in the Murderous Vision discography where he suddenly went full-on freakazoid scum-sludge like this, but it rules. It's a solid, offbeat, totally overlooked album from Murderous Vision, that closes with a nearly twenty-minute live performance of what sounds like a witch's sabbat . The last two tracks are similairy intriguing artifacts, the meandering piano that drives the neo-classical ritualism on "Seas", insane black metal-esque shrieks lurking in the depths and bearing witness to blinding blasts of kosmiche electronics into the upper atmopshere, while the unreleased "Collective Murder" draws its curtains down around some terrific orchestral dark ambience.



WORMED  Exodromos (BLUE VINYL)  LP   (Willowtip)   24.99
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Now available on vinyl.

Avant-garde psychedelic sci-fi slam-death? One of the few contemporary bands to come out of the "brutal" death metal underground that I've found to be at all worthwhile, Spain's Wormed have been offering a very strange, ultra-complex sound for over a decade now; although they've had a couple of crushing EPs come out over the past decade (like 2010's batshit insane Quasineutrality and a three-way split with Goratory and Vomit Remnants) and have made some notable appearances at extreme metal festivals like Maryland Deathfest, this is actually the first new album from Wormed in ten years, and sees the band pushing their sound into even more dizzying extremes of complexity and heaviness. They take the slamming, bone-crushing power of that whole Suffocation / Devourment / Cryptopsy end of the death metal spectrum and blasts it through a stargate, creating a vicious strain of mutant death metal woven from quantum physics hallucinations and eldritch alien horrors vomiting out of deep-space wormholes. On the band's long-awaited second album Exodromos, Wormed's vicious angular metallic crunch is further slathered in electronic textures and glitchy ambience and fused to confusing, near incomprehensible time signatures, and fronted by a singer who shifts between bestial pig-grunt vocals and an utterly bizarre, seemingly pitch-shifted gurgle that gives one the impression that you are, in all actuality, listening to the vocalizations of a giant insect. All of that would make this stuff weird enough, and put it right up my sci-fi metal lovin' alley, but Wormed take these concepts and musical complexity into such extremes that it manages to transcend the brutal death metal sound and becomes something much more outre.

A bizarre concept album about the last surviving human being left in the wake of a universe-collapsing wormhole, this is some of the most complex, mind-melting death metal I've heard since the new Gorguts album. The songs on Exodromos spiral out into seemingly endless riff-whirlwinds, the blenderized rhythms and discordant riffing welded together with a malicious, reptilian intent, each song riddled with sudden and violently jarring tempo and time signature changes, the riffs as fucked-up and atonal as anything off of Gorguts's no wave-damaged death metal classic Obscura. But Wormed are just as skilled at suddenly dropping into a bone-crushing groove that feels like the sound of that Hadron Collidor starting to warm up, or slip into a vicious, stuttering, twisted math-metal workout. The drumming on this album is fucking mind-blowing, super technical and precise, virtuosic even, often lurching into sickening stop/start arrangements, guiding Wormed's churning deep-space chaos out of the angular, ultra-blasting progdeath and into some killer classic metal riffage or sweeping melodic guitars that offer a striking contrast with the jagged discordant blast. The album is littered with tracks like "Solar Neutrinos", which combines creepy spoken word passage and looping guitar ambience with weird synthesizer effects, an interlude amid the crushing mechanized death metal, and there are several short electronic noisescapes that start and end various tracks. On "Multivectorial Reionization", they detonate some robotic Meshuggah-esque deathchug that's so heavy that it'll rumble the walls of your stomach, and "Spacetime Ekleipsis Vorticity" slips into breathless torrents of cyborg-calliope fretboard insanity. More of that crazed prog-shred shows up on "Stellar Depopulation", and some of those rapid-fire tremolo picked melodies have a staccato feel that sort of reminds me of some of Mick Barr's (Orthrelm) stuff, like on the majestic closer "Xenoverse Discharger". These guys have turned into one of the most interesting tech-death bands out there, blending their downtuned bone-rattling extremity with epic kosmische electronics and the result sounds like nothing else. Exodromos comes highly recommended to fans of everything from latter-day Gorguts to Ulcerate and the sci-fi death metal of Nocturnus, Demilich and Timeghoul.


Track Samples:
Sample : WORMED-Exodromos (BLUE VINYL)
Sample : WORMED-Exodromos (BLUE VINYL)
Sample : WORMED-Exodromos (BLUE VINYL)


GRIEF  Depression  12"   (Fuck Yoga)   18.98
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GEROGERIGEGEGE, THE  Senzuri Fight Back  7" VINYL   (Turbine Industries)   12.99
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CELTIC FROST  Danse Macabre  5 x CD + BOOK BOXSET   (Noise)   89.99
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CONTROLLED BLEEDING  Distress Signals I  2 x LP   (Artoffact Records)   40.99
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ABRUPTUM  Vi Sonus Veris Nigrae Malitiaes  CD   (Profound Lore)   13.98
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You want some cognitive whiplash? Read reviews of Vi Sonus Veris Nigrae Malitiaes online. On Metal Archives alone , commentary on this cult weirdo black metal album goes from a scathing 5/100 rating to more metaphoric examinations of the album that produces a vastly higher score. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that this disc remains as divisive and provocative as it still does. Here you get a band that was connected to the lauded original Nordic "Black Circle" with all the black metal lore that comes with it. But who pursued a seemingly psychotic and abstract sonic vision that offered little to metal fans mainly looking for ripping riffs. I remember an old review that Peter Sotos did in this newsletter where he had gotten ahold of one of Abruptum's albums and compared it to something much closer to Nurse With Wound than anything resembling heavy metal. And of course this was correct - the modus operandi of Abruptum was invoking a presence of real darkness, some tangible aspect of human evil, through what is essentially intense and discursive sound-collages.

Recorded in 1995 at Peter Tagtgren’s Abyss Studios, Vi Sonus is the only Abruptum album that is solely created and performed by the late, great IT (aka Tony Sarkka), as other member "Evil" was unavailable. This is all "It", a one-man show as he plumbs the filthiest recesses of the human psyche. It is the third album from the band (following the first two on Deathlike Silence) , originally appearing in 1996 on the semi-legendary US black metal label Full Moon Productions. Profound Lore's 2019 reissue presents the piece in four parts, but as one unbroken track. Just over an hour of abyssic improvisational horror. Slow, pounding drums echo in some subterranean chamber, surrounded by nauseating feedback that rises and falls in wave-like movements in the vastness. Wailing guitar noise that precedes a more urgent drum track backed by distant moaning and howling . A formless mass of percussive psychosis opens the album, with weird knocking sounds, unidentifiable chirps, ghostly scraping and shimmering cymbals. As that drumming eventually coalesces into an actual beat, a slow, torturous trudge, and the shrieking reverberant guitar settles into huge splatters of distorted drone and floor-shaking rumble, Vi Sonus Veris Nigrae Malitiaes curdles into a bizarre and amorphous blackened doom dirge. Those pained screams and shrieks and gasps echo throughout the background as the instruments slowly congeal into this massive, cavernous plod, stinking whiffs of riffage and astringent melody and slithering atonality hitting you on and off again.

That charred-black, shapeless doom breaks apart into more sprawls of scrabbly detuned guitar noise, electrified hum, and malodorous non-verbal vomit, clanking chains dragging somewhere off to your left, bursts of mangled blast beats and reptilian hissing, and this push-pull tension of form and formlessness is stretched out over the entire recording. Those fragments of deformed melody and constructed guitar parts move in and out of the shadows, with the only real constant being that steady amplifier hum and the endless vocalizations that sound way off in the background. The parts where it starts to resemble some totally fucked-up doom metal are scattered and brief; in the latter half of the album, it does get pretty heavy, but it never relinquishes that atmosphere of sickness and insanity. For the most part, those howls of agony are encircled by blobs of gooey, freeform guitar fills the air like fumes from a long-rotting corpse, backed by energetic but apparently directionless drumming. When Vi Sonus is at its most shattered and abstract, it's remarkably redolent of the jet-black psychedelic scrawl of Khanate, a mutated corpse-gnawing version of early 90s Skullflower, or the most nightmarish moments of Keiji Haino and Fushitsusha. It's quite different from the later, more "industrial" Abruptum releases, much closer in sound and feel to the darkest extremes of European improv. But with that ghastly, "necro" ambience native to the early second-wave Nordic black metallers.

This utterly abject extended pain-ritual still sounds as far-out and avant-garde now as it did when Full Moon released it back in 1996. Even though a thousand bands have mimicked Abruptum's shambling, oubliette-locked death-dirge and blackened noisescapes over the past quarter-century, nothing has quite captured the unique evocation of mental and physical illness and personal corruption that "It” pulled off on this disc. And like Corrupted, this is one of those albums that is best heard on CD; the degraded, radiating "music" captured here should be heard unbroken, with no pause to alleviate the ghoulishness ambience of it all.

Still one of the most whacked-out, bizarro moments in black metal history. A personal favorite, for sure. This CD reissue comes in a nicely embossed digipak that stays true to the look and feel of the original release.


Track Samples:
Sample : Vi Sonus Veris Nigrae Malitiaes
Sample : Vi Sonus Veris Nigrae Malitiaes
Sample : Vi Sonus Veris Nigrae Malitiaes


MELVINS  Joe Preston  LP   (Boner)   17.98
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      The latest to wash ashore in this recent flood of Melvins-related vinyl reissues, the band's trio of "solo albums" that came out on Boner Records back in '92 have all been resurrected on wax for the first

time in twenty years, featuring the original music and accompanied by a poster and digital download code. Here's our old review for this stuff from when we originally got 'em in stock:

      If you've been following the Melvin's for awhile, you know that those dudes love KISS. They love 'em so much that back in 1992, the Melvins issued a series of three EP's, one from each member (King

Buzzo, Dale Crover, and then-bassist Joe Preston) presenting their own EP of original solo material; the discs were totally modeled after the original KISS solo albums from 1978 in both look and concept, mimicking the same cover art

style and KISS-logo lettering, making this part homage, part prank. These are now pretty hard to find, but are absolutely crucial to Melvins fans as each of the EP's are like a slide-section of the member's creativity, and all are

totally crushing and weird in their own manner.

      The most maligned entry into the Melvins solo EPs trilogy, Joe Preston's disc is also my personal favorite of the series, and it's also the longest at almost half an hour. His solo disc was one of the only things that Preston recorded during his brief stint in the Melvins, along with the Nightgoat single and the Lysol album. If you're a regular here at C-Blast, you've no doubt noticed that we are HUGE Joe Preston fans. The guy has played with some of our favorite bands ever (Earth, Sunn O))), High On Fire), and is also the force behind the mighty Thrones. The dude just bleeds heaviness. His solo Melvins EP is definitely the most fucked-up of the three, but Sunn O))) and Thrones fans are gonna be stoked to see the shape of things to come captured here; the opener "The Eagle Has Landed" is a brief bit of sound collage fusing a really fucking annoying recording of a kid throwing a temper tantrum over scratchy 70's elevator music; and "Bricklebrit" totally predates the Thrones sound with a splattery drum machine, alien feedback, and slow creepy mutant riffage - freaking crushing, and sounds like it could have come off the Sperm Whale album. But it's the final track, the 23 minute long "Hands First Flower" which should have all fans of Earth, Sunn O))), Black Boned Angel, and all things ultra heavy tarpit guitar dronemetal scrambling to attach their ears to this disc. Starting off with low, rumbling feedback drones and stretched out metal power chords suspended in space, the track slooowly shifts and turns with crushing ominous sludge drone and distant, elephantine tympani strikes, sounding exactly like what Sunn O))) were doing on their 00 Void album, but with those monstrous, distorted drum explosions and Preston's weird electronic sounds making it even heavier. When this came out, man, so many people hated it, thinking it the most disposable entry in the solo series, but listening to it now proves that his disc was just way ahead of it's time...



CAVERNOUS WOMB  self-titled  CASSETTE   (Einsamkeit ‎)   5.99
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An older tape described as "Dark Ambient", but it's a bit more than that. This project is an alter-ego of the Olympia-area black metal band Huldrekall, a trio who leaned into the more psychedelic and folk-tinged aspects of the "Cascadian" black metal aesthetic by adding in acoustic guitar and mandolin; I have a couple of their tapes, and they’re pretty damn good. As Cavernous Womb, though, members Dylan Bloom and Clay DeVilbiss tap into the frequencies of Teutonic prog-influenced music and the dark ambient underground to create a similarly ritual-style experience through the use of percussion, vocals, synthesizers, and electric guitar textures. Other than this full-length tape that they released back in 2013, the only other stuff that Cavernous Womb has put out are a pair of splits, one with Aurora Bridge, the other with Mercury, both of whom practice a like-minded kind of low-fi ceremonial shadowdrone.

Berlin School meets cemetery ambience meets hazed-out arboreal ceremonial practice meets gargantuan drone-metal heaviosity. Two side-long tracks of astral crush. "Eigengrau " rumbles forth into a steadily building monolith of pulsating deep-bass drones, washes of metallic cymbal shimmer, huge bursts of distorted ambient doom-chords echoing all around you, a low-fi haze of tape hiss hanging like a thick mist. This vast glacial drone-crush is backed by that almost always-present drum kit, quick flourishes of hissing cymbals and tribal beats that rise in waves within the murk. The music evolves slowly, ritualistic and tranced-out, the space completely filled with the thunderous distorted low-end power chords and that primal drumming that's buried way down in the mix. Random noises and unknown clatter pops up amid what is obviously a live jam. Strange alien electronics and whirring synthesizers swoop and plummet through the air, large sections of " Eigengrau " transforming into this super-heavy, magma-encrusted hypnocrush, allowing you to lose yourself in the volcanic smog and warped electronics that sound like captured radio waves from a collapsing star, and horn-like tones bellowing from above.

It’s not what I was expecting when I originally picked this up. The smudgy, minimal art and layout had me thinking this was going to be a much mellower ambient excursion. I was incorrect. There's an almost industrial aspect to this with the intensive use of looping sound and metallic flourishes, but more than anything this side evokes something akin to the heaviest, most sky-eating moments of early 90s Skullflower, when Bower and DiFranco and crew were summoning titanic slabs of guitar and electronic feedback and carving them out into exquisitely heavy freeform psychedelia. But these guys have their own spin ion it, adding these touches of celestial electronics and incredibly brackish ambient pools of scintillating whirr that really blast your skull into another zone for almost twenty minutes, dissolving as it moves to intersect with the next piece.

“As the Snow Melted Away“flows right out of the preceding track. Gentle, rumbling notes swell and ring out and echo into a vast emptiness. The mood turns toward a meditative space, improvised percussion softly clinking in the depths, the lonely, reverberant guitar notes flaming out before they dissipate. Again, there's that quasi-industrial loopscape going on beneath everything else, that maintains the hypnotic pull Cavernous Womb create. It's a huge space of spare shadowy drones and whirring, pulsating, eternal loops, strange crystalline forms materializing and dematerializing. There is a vaguely musical form that takes shape, a minimal melodic series of guitar emanations, becoming more ghostly as it goes along. Like the A-side, this is around twenty minutes long, really allowing you to bathe in this strange luminous gloom for awhile. It's eerily beautiful, captivating and creepy, balancing open space with those layered drones, sometimes fading into near silence, other times surging upward in volume and power. I definitely get the feeling that the duo was going for a specific headspace here, that ritual-style repetition connecting everything. As you move through the second half of the song, haunting groans like ancient trees bending downward, and incandescent blurs of shimmering strings creep outward and merge together into a blissed-out cloud of sound.

Limited to one hundred tapes, each one hand-numbered.


Track Samples:
Sample : Eigengrau
Sample : As the Snow Melted Away


VARIOUS ARTISTS  On The Stub Of Fate New Life Will Not Grow  CD   (Deleting Soul)   11.98
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Track Samples:
Sample : VARIOUS ARTISTS-On The Stub Of Fate New Life Will Not Grow
Sample : VARIOUS ARTISTS-On The Stub Of Fate New Life Will Not Grow
Sample : VARIOUS ARTISTS-On The Stub Of Fate New Life Will Not Grow


VARIOUS ARTISTS  Autocrine (K2 / RISARIPA / VIVIANKRIST)  CD   (Phage Tapes)   9.99
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SIMONETTI, CLAUDIO  Demons (OST - 2019 EDITION)  2 x CD   (Rustblade)   18.99
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Available on LP (limited to six hundred sixty-six hand-numbered copies on blue vinyl), digipack CD, and a deluxe steelbox set.

"They will make cemeteries their cathedrals, and the cities will be your tomb..." Thus goes the prophetic warning that heralds the onslaught of razor-taloned, pus-spewing 80's horror insanity that is Lamberto Bava's Demoni, or Demons as it was titled for the American release. Outside of his work with the legendary prog rock outfit Goblin, my favorite solo score from keyboardist Claudio Simonetti has always been his nutzoid work for this gore classic. One of the decade's most infamous splat attacks, Demons was a high-energy assault upon your eyeballs, setting loose an army of flesh-ripping, pus-spewing horrors upon the helpless patrons of a sinister Berlin movie theatre, and setting the ensuing carnage to an insane soundtrack that combined Simonetti's bombastic score with a raucous heavy metal playlist that included songs from Motley Crue, Saxon and Billy Idol. For his part, Simonetti used the sort of spiraling gothic synthesizers that marked his work in Goblin, but combined them with hammering drum machine rhythms and harsh, staccato orchestral stabs for something that at times almost sounds like a cross between Goblin and the brutalist electro-funk of Tackhead. While this killer score was finally released in full via a 2003 CD on label Deep Red, it's only now that Simonetti's Demons is being issued on vinyl as a standalone score as a 30th anniversary reissue, along with brand new, definitive CD editions that contain never before released material.

And man, I love every aspect of this score, it's maniacal Euro-disco throb and pounding mid-80s electro and orchestral sounds that fuels so many of these pieces, funky and ferocious and hallucinatory all at once. The propulsive murderous hypno-rock of "Killing" that Simonetti fleshes out with a wicked ascending string arrangement that turns it into one of the best action pieces I've ever heard, and the bizarre tribal rhythms and staccato drum machines that power the weird Gothic electro-funk of the main "Demon" theme, with it's weird sampled vocal noises and an ass-shaking synth riff make another memorable piece. Elsewhere, he incorporates screaming heavy metal guitar solos with pulsating synth, or stretches of jazzy organ and soulful female vocals that subtly mutate that signature funky theme; some of this is very experimental, like the unsettling combination of industrial rhythms and dissonant orchestral samples on "Cruel Demon", or the swirling cyclical synthdrones of "Threat" that transform into a quick blast of discordant strings; glitchy melodic fragments are layered over deep Moog drones, and backwards-masked noises and strange edits that produce a disturbing effect. This score is so catchy that it works perfectly even completely separated from the gross visuals of Bava's cinematic nightmare; it's all very deliciously 80's, and there's definitely a few moments on here that are very reminiscent of Simonetti's later Goblin work from the 80s, but much of it resembles a more gothic take on the industrial funk of Tackhead, which may look weird on paper but sounds goddamn phenomenal to my ears. An excellent reissue of one of my favorite film scores of all time, a classic blast of 80's Italian hyper-splatter that I love so much I had to pick up every single version for my own collection.

The LP and CD versions of this reissue feature a bunch of bonus material, including "Demon's Lounge", an awesomely jazzy version of the film's main theme complete with Rhodes piano and soulful female singing; demo versions of several of the main tracks; an eerie demo version of the main theme played on electric piano; a KILLER breakbeat version of the main theme from Simonetti's Simonetti Horror Project album from 1990; and it' capped off with a seriously bizarre (and surprisingly burly) heavy metal version of "Demon" performed by Simonetti's prog-metal outfit Daemonia in LA in 2002. And for the disc, there are also a couple of Quicktime videos included on the CD version of 1985 Italian TV commercials for the original Demoni soundtrack release that RULE, along with some additional photo galleries.

In addition, the super-limited deluxe boxset has that digipack CD as well as a bonus CD that features the entire score remixed and radically altered by the likes of Ohgr (Skinny Puppy), Cervello Elettronico, Simulakrum Lab, The Devil And The Universe, :Bahntier//, Needle Sharing and Leather Strip, as well as additional tracks from Fangoria scribe and electronic musician Chris Alexander and Creature From The Black, and also incudes a metal Demons badge, a full color art insert, and a postcard reproduction of the Metropol ticket seen in the film, all housed in a hinged tin box and limited to four hundred ninety-nine copies.



TIMEGHOUL  Tumultuous Travelings / Panaramic Twilight (NEON)  LP   (The Crypt)   24.00
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Another killer reissue from the Crypt, a new 2017 vinyl release of Timeghoul's ferocious 1992 and 1994 demos, presented in gatefold packaging that includes the liner notes from band member Mike Stevens and artist Mark Riddick, lyrics, Riddick's original cover art, and other imagery and art (ad copy, band pics, flyer art) from the demos that was featured in the band's discography CD on Dark Descent. Here's our take on it, taken from the older review for the more expansive double CD edition:

Ascend to Mimas! Just got this underground avant-death classic back in stock, a must-hear collection of primo weirdo death metal from the early 90s. These Missouri void-crawlers only released two demos between 1992 and 1994 before hanging it up, but despite their brief run, Timeghoul's recordings captured one of the strangest sounds to creep out of the American death metal underground. Their subject matter and imagery all had an arcane science fiction bent, while the music itself was an atypical blend of technical, prog-tinged death metal and moments of weirdly mournful doom, with an extremely odd (but amazing) vocal style that still sounds fairly unique. Over the years, Timeghoul's music has found a larger audience through the internet, hailed by fans of confusional, adventurous old-school heaviness, and the band's original demo were collected into a single disc by Dark Descent back in 2012 that featured killer new artwork from Mark Riddick; that was followed by this superior, expanded double CD set that pretty much gives you everything the band ever recorded, including rare live recordings.

Their demented approach to death metal is pretty apparent as soon as their first demo Tumultuous Travelings gets going. Those earliest recordings featured the band's murky, murderous heaviness laced with bits of sonic strangeness and rhythmic complexity, producing chugging, discordant blasts that get progressively stranger in construction. Especially once the vocals come in on "Rain Wound"; while most of the vocals are a hideous guttural gurgle, here they suddenly morph into a bizarre, almost chantlike moan as the guitars spiral out into atonal shredding madness. Those weirdly crooning vocals are used sparingly, creating a chilling, hallucinatory feel on other songs like "The Siege" where they're combined with crawling, doom-laden heaviness. And Timeghoul's sound mutated even further with the two-song Panaramic Twilight demo, consisting of two ten-minute tracks that showcase an even more intricate and frenzied direction, filled with twisted, counter-intuitive stop/start arrangements and sudden shifts into fucked-up dissonant sludge that come out of nowhere. And some surprisingly catchy hooks come out of the blasting chaos and insane, insectile riffery, with a couple of songs demonstrating an obtuse, almost prog-informed style that actually reminds me of Watchtower a bit. Those two tracks were the pinnacle of Timeghoul's output, expansive prog-death sagas that blend more of those weirdly harmonized vocals and gut-rupturing growls with increasingly ambitious songwriting. Choppy off-kilter heaviness is spiked with deranged leads and atonal melodies, flecked with bits of grim industrial drift and nauseating vocalizations, bursts of mathy mayhem and sickening synthetic ambience getting all tangled with weird spoken word readings that invoke desolate, interstellar imagery, and sprawls of majestic doom.

Of course, I can only fantasize about what a actual Timeghoul album would have sounded like, but even in demo form, this blast of cosmic vomit kills. A lost gem of atmospheric, technical weirdness on par with contemporaries Demilich and Atrocity, and an obvious predecessor to more current purveyors of sci-fi obsessed death metallers like Artificial Brain and Gigan, Timeghoul remain as bizarre and brutal as ever.


Track Samples:
Sample : TIMEGHOUL-Tumultuous Travelings / Panaramic Twilight (NEON)
Sample : TIMEGHOUL-Tumultuous Travelings / Panaramic Twilight (NEON)
Sample : TIMEGHOUL-Tumultuous Travelings / Panaramic Twilight (NEON)
Sample : TIMEGHOUL-Tumultuous Travelings / Panaramic Twilight (NEON)
Sample : TIMEGHOUL-Tumultuous Travelings / Panaramic Twilight (NEON)


ASTRONOID  Air  CD   (Blood Music)   14.99
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COP SHOOT COP  The New York Post-Punk / Noise Series: VOL I  DVD   (Robellion)   14.99
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GERBILS, THE  Dead Detroit: Lost 1982 Recordings  LP   (Lysergic Sound Distributors)   23.00
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SCROUNGERS, THE  Weak As Piss  7" VINYL   (Mortville)   5.00
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Track Samples:
Sample : Fuck Right Off
Sample : Fuck Politics, Let's Riot
Sample : I'm Normal


SANNHET  So Numb  CD   (Profound Lore)   13.98
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CYBER-PSYCHOS A.O.D.  Issue 9  MAGAZINE   (CyberPsychos AOD Publishing)   6.00
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BELLTONE SUICIDE  Recycled Music Series  CASSETTE   (RRRecords)   4.98
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Track Samples:
Sample : Recycled (1)
Sample : Recycled (2)
Sample : Recycled (3)


CABINET  Claustrophobic Dysentery  CD   (Bloody Mountain)   9.99
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Track Samples:
Sample : Lilliputian Flicker of Fasciollasis
Sample : Obesogenic Decomposition
Sample : Hallway of Dacryocystotomic Depriciation


TZOMPANTLI  Tlazcaltiliztli  CD   (20 Buck Spin)   13.99
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G.I.S.M.  Military Affairs Neurotic (M.A.N.)  CASSETTE   (Relapse)   13.98
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Track Samples:
Sample : Meaning Corrupted 1 (Fatigue)
Sample : Anatomy Love Violence Gism
Sample : Good As It Is


TIWINAKU  Earth Base One  LP   (Unorthodox Emanations)   26.99
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GROTESQUERY, THE  The Lupine Anathema (And Other Bloodcurdling Tales Of Horror And The Macabre)  CD   (MDD / Xtreem Music)   14.99
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The last (as of now) album from this death metal supergroup of sorts, 2018's The Lupine Anathema (And Other Bloodcurdling Tales Of Horror And The Macabre) goes full werewolf berserker, and at the same time serves up their most memorable album of their career, peppering their old-school brutality with some really wild stylistic shifts and hook-laden songwriting that makes this a crazed trip to experience. This is actually where I discovered the band, and loved the craziness of Lupine so much that I've been working backwards through their discography all the way back to 2010's Tales Of The Coffin Born. These guys obviously stand out with a notable lineup of death metal veterans, with Massacre / Mantas frontman Kam Lee on vocals, the rhythm section of Swedes Johan Berglund and Brynjar Helgetun (Ribspreader), and guitarists Rogga Johansson and Kjetil Lynghaug. Some of these guys have been playing with Lee for awhile as part of his revival version of Massacre, so there's some solid musical telepathy already going on.

An orgy of feral, violent snarling blasts open the gruesome death metal of "Under the Curse of the Full Moon ", the mixture of classic Swedish heaviness and Lee's guttural savagery rampaging across the beginning of the album with huge riffs and vicious tempo changes galore, his vocals splattering into gusts of acrid vomit and delay-tinged trippiness. The riffing is massive, as you'd expect from those guys, with eerie leads winding like dying vines through the crush. More trium[hant-sounding melodic leads begin to ascend over the album as "By Feral Ways " and "Wrath of the Garvulves (By the Eyes of Moonlight) " glide between mid-paced grooviness and double-kick powered majesty, serving up an ongoing series of bloody hooks that pierce each of these ten songs; for fans of vintage Swedeath, this album has a lot to offer. That lycanthropic theme directs every single song, tapping into ancient European folklore, Lovecraftian mythos, and Cajun tradition to form these riotous blasts of chromatic riffing, sick whammy-bending shred, and rhythmic punishment. Some offbeat keyboard segueways and spoken word pieces start showing up, adding to the whole lupine mood, and the songs start to show off some more rocking elements, like the Edge Of Sanity-esque songs "The Faceless God", ”Dark Cry of the Wolf”, and the goddamn chug-a-thon "As Death Dies "; that catchiness keeps comin', song after song, while Lee's vocals get grosser and more abominable. It rules. In fact, much like Edge Of Sanity, there's a certain goth rock-like quality that emerges in the latter half of Lupine, which has had some folks draw comparisons to Sisters Of Mercy in the manner that Grotesquery crafts these dark, driving, incredibly catchy rock hooks and surrounds them with that downtuned metallic intensity, and Lee even drops into a deep baritone for a moment on "Bloodcurdling Tales". It never quite gets to what Edge did with their song "Sacrificed", if you know what I mean, but it certainly feels like it could at any moment. With a very tiny proggy element showing up in a couple of spots, this all works together to produce one seriously catchy death metal album.


Track Samples:
Sample : Bloodcurdling Tales
Sample : Dark Cry of the Wolf
Sample : The Faceless God


PHOBOCOSM  Everlasting Void  7" VINYL   (Dark Descent)   8.99
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One of the shining lights of mutated heaviosity in the Canadian underground, Phobocosm birthed this two-song EP in the wake of their debut album, showcasing the growth and enhanced weirdness of their brand of warped doom-laden death metal that pretty much had anyone who dug their earlier discs slavering for more (which has still yet to manifest). Issued in a run of five hundred copies with cool murky marbled abstraction splattered across the sleeve by up n' comin' artist / designer Noircevr, Void bisects your head in just over eleven minutes via a killer new song called, wouldn't you know, "Everlasting Void ", and follow it with a righteously repugnant cover of Immolation's "Here in After" through which the band pays homage to one of their noted influences while also twisting that mid-90s classic into Phobocosm's specific aetheric slimeblast.

It's a fuckin' killer seven inch. That title track is a terror, instantaneously exploding into a slurred, stop-n-go crush of septic roars, gross bacterial ambience, and that particular way of welding straightforward old-school (as in early 90's) doom-death / death metal ultra-heaviness to flailing tentacles of dissonant textres, weird counter-intuitive riff structures, this unusually ever-present "ambient" element, and layer on layer of stacked riffs and leads that produce this grotesque, atypical massiveness that feels like some kind of ritual signal beamed out of a black hole. As with their previous releases (all of 'em recommended here at C-Blast), there seems to be something of a shared ungainly, ultra-heavy alien--ness with Phobocosm's deformed mass and the offbeat, squirming crush of bands like Chthe'ilist and Immolation.

Which brings you to their rabid version of "Here in After", delivered at pummeling speed and intensity with the original's bizarre tonalities, fucked up riffing, and pulverizing slow passages all intact, but with that extra polluted weirdness you'd expect.



SONJA  Loud Arriver  CD   (Cruz Del Sur)   15.98
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CORONER  Grin  2 x LP   (Noise)   30.00
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CATHEDRAL  The Carnival Bizarre  CASSETTE   (Earache)   9.99
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AN ABSTRACT ILLUSION  Woe  CD   (Willowtip)   14.99
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ATARAXIA  The Unexplained ( Electronic Musical Impressions Of The Occult )  CD   (Rubellian Remasters)   16.99
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Nabbed some of the last copies of the now out-of-print CD edition of the one and only album of 1974 spook-tronics from album from Mort Garson's Ataraxia. Canadian composer Garson, best known for his weird early sci-fi tinged "proto-New Age" electronic releases (specifically his Mother Earth's Phantasia, an album designed to be played for plants), also previously explored the darker realms of early analog synth with his Lucifer project, which received similar reissue treatment from Rubellian and Sacred Bones. The man is a pioneer in the field of analog synth composition and progressive and experimental electronics, a true Moog-master among other things, and the gorgeous shadowy atmospheres that he briefly created with these two projects are intensely evocative sound-invocations. The Ataraxia material is absolutely crucial dark synthesizer music from the golden age of analog electronic experimentation; of course, it was the sheer darkness and strangeness of both its music and its visual presentation that drew me in, but it's also one of the most idiosyncratic albums from that era.

This gets bonkers right off the bat, "Tarot" exploding into a micro-nova of crystalline tones, luscious Moog drone, swirling spaced-out sinewave formations, booming low-end synth melodies that evoke all kinds of majesty and wonder, gradually building to a batshit crescendo of clanking keys and weird, almost ritualistic drum patterns, eerie noises panning from one end of the room to the other, this one slightly menacing riff coming to the forefront but also surrounded by a rush of jazz-rock flute sounds, pounding metallic percussion, and an ending that makes you feel as if you've just been transported to the center of Stonehenge. This is a blast. And there's quite a bit of variety here, considering the time period that this was produced in. Murky textured drift billows around "Sorcerer", evoking chant-like tones and slow, processional reverberations, like the accompaniment to a black light-hued march of cowled characters slowly moving through a wonky electronic shroom-hole; this soundtracky stuff sounds huge, too, you can easily imagine this music actually being used in some 1970s-era "Satanic panic"-style chiller .Some of the music on Unexplained offers more complex keyboard structures and instrumental voices; it even moves into something resembling early Giorgio Moroder on the creepy / groovy disco territory on the songs "The Unexplained" and "Deja Vu" (dig that buzzsaw Moog riff on the former, that thing is a monster, while the solarized funk of "Astral Projection" even seems to possess what sound like steel drums....my favorite stuff is the music that sounds like background sounds to a ghost story adaptation from a late night public broadcasting station- this stuff evokes all kinds of nostalgia and feel for the darker fringes of a certain cultural moment.

That otherworldly vibe continues through "I Ching", emanating a druggy, woozy feel as the melodies writhe around harsh metallic peals, odd low-register chordal noise, Theremin-like fluctuations and other weirdness. There's abstract atonality on "Cabala" that produces one of the albums creepiest pieces, all off-kilter effects and detuned notes flitting like spectral shadows over rhythmic booms and an eruption of awesome church organ-esque drones. This falls back to Earth with the haunting closer "Wind Dance" that mutates into rather shocking proto-techno arrangements; this track has parts that actually sound like something Autechre would come up with, again displaying the experimental abstraction and new approaches to soundcraft that's way ahead of its time. There are few reference points while listening to this; some of the album reminds me of the berserk synthesizer psychedelia of The Visitor soundtrack - I bet at least a handful of zonked-out Italians heard this and lost their collective minds, because there's quite a bit of Ataraxia's style and sound that feels like a potential influence on the soundtrack work that would start to appear with great frequency in Italian horror / fantasy films of the mid-70s onward. Of course, everyone around the world was bewitched by then wild new sounds of synthesizers and other electronic sound generators, but I haven't heard that much that sounds as gleefully ominous as the nine songs presented here. A couple moments evoke the feel of the iconic backing music for Leonard Nimoy's original In Search Of... series, as well.

This Rubellian Cd edition includes descriptive liner notes by Jacques Wilson, which I believe were included in the sleeve to the original release. A benchmark in the field of occult proto-electronica and innovative supernatural mood music.


Track Samples:
Sample : Tarot
Sample : Seance
Sample : The Unexplained


L7  Hungry for Stink (CLEAR / RED BLOODSHOT VINYL)  LP   (Real Gone Music)   31.99
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SOL ETHER  I: Golden Head  CD   (Sol Ether)   10.99
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As has been noted, I'm not the biggest fan of stuff that generally gets described as "folk metal". Not that that term really means anything anymore - I mean, man, there is a gulf between, say, the pioneering pagan fusion of Skyclad and the monstrous Japanese tribal rhythms of Birushanah. "Ethnic" is sort of a landmine, I guess, but that's generally where we're at, heavy metal bands that incorporate musical "folk" tradition to varying degrees. And I think it's safe to say that when most of us here the "F"-word bandied about, it is stuff like Finntroll, Korpiklaani, and the Tales from the Thousand Lakes-era Amorphis stuff. Actually, now that I'm hashing it out here, I guess that I dig folk metal more than I realized. I'm a sucker for the Finnish.

But boy, I can only take so much jig. And polka beats, for that matter.

Celtic mythology and culture has been mined for inspirations by a lot of bands working in the "folk metal" zone, but I haven't heard anything as immersed and steeped in Iron Age spirituality and rich Gaelic archetypes like what you get hit with on Sol Ether's debut album. The Boston duo of Torann and Tellus came out horns blasting with this 2022 debut, a wild and violent rush of ultra-heavy, eccentric, and archaic Celt-influenced death metal that whips up a storm of berserk folk instrumentation, carefully positioned avant-garde flourishes, and a totally dominating attitude that reverberates from each hammerfist riff and rousing war-anthem. And oh, what glorious drama introduces this event! Frontman Torann delivers deeply wrought, somber male singing that rises high above a muted roar of burning fields, chains and shovels gouging the earth, that torrent of background rumble building into a black thunderhead. That singing is terrific, "Spire of Fate" setting up this melodramatic atmosphere, hailing the dread power of the Irish-Celtic warrior-queen figure The Morrigan...and then it bursts straight into the skull-mulching doomdeath of "Morrígan" itself. The band kicks into total earthmover mode, slow, grinding riffs backed by a pummeling rhythm section, with some rad unexpected riff-shifts and subtle tempo changes (or not so subtle, when the blastbeats suddenly kick in for a moment). Heavy as fuck, invoking the filthy, offal-thick stench of Autopsy, Incantation as well as Bolt Thrower's mid-tempo skulldozer riff attack, digging into these deep and monstrous grooves that cycle around sickening guttural roars, some strange sounds occasionally clanking or banging in the background. The album nails it with the track sequencing, building a tangible vibe as they move through each lengthy track, some songs spanning ten minutes, and Sol Ether start to flex some wild progginess as the album unfolds, seen via that killer fusion-y bass that opens "Golden Head" and the tangles of confusional dissonant shred that spring up here and there. And that clear, baritone singing reappears throughout, this majestic presence looming over the charred, gnarled wastes. These guys keep a nice balance of straightforward heaviosity and the weirder prog-death flourishes, with the focus always on delivering these gargantuan death grooves. I'm already lovin' this disc three songs in.

Like entwined limbs of black elderberry, dense and verdant, the Celtic tribal mythology runs deep in I: Golden Head's strange, doomed death metal terrain. This reveals itself to be a spiritually fueled concept album that unfurls a grand but cryptic narrative. Every single song features these poetic pagan odes to transcendence and transfiguration through the cosmic furnace of fire and war; anyone versed in pre-Christian Celtic lore and the Heroic Age will have a field day with all of the mythology and imagery woven into the music, the whole of the album unfolding as a great saga, vividly described and continuous references to the brandishing of the mighty spear Gáe Bulg, evocations of the war-god Taranis and guardian of the "otherworld" Manannán mac Lir, reverence of the wood and mounds of the fairy folk and Tuatha Dé Danann, the battle-frenzy of ríastrad (which has been translated into English as "warp-spasm" - now that is badass), with whole verses being sung or growled in actual Gaelic language in songs like closer "Freedom" and the title track. The handful of haunting interludes work very nicely: "Through Time" moves out of the metal into another grandiose soundtrack forged from dark ambient tremors and the crack of thunder transformed into a harrowing experience. Similarly, "Call of the Sídhe" (whose title I'm assuming is borrowed from famed Irish poet-mystic George William Russell ) breaks into the sound of tribal drumming and ecstatic flute, a stomping ritualistic daze washing over everything. But at it's core, these guys are primarily poised to hammer you into the goddamn dirt like an iron spike. Sheer heaviness dominates I: Golden Head even amidst the dreamlike ventures into ancient musical tradition and mythic beauty, and the moments of prog-tinged weirdness.

And you know what? Not a single jig to be found.


Track Samples:
Sample : Windswept
Sample : Unyielding Yew
Sample : Golden Head


MALFORMED  Uncontrollable Malformity  CD   (Rotted Life)   10.99
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SADNESS  _____ (Rabbit Album)  CD   (Flowing Downward)   14.99
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ULTRAVIOLENCE  Psycho-Drama  CASSETTE   (Earache)   8.99
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HANNUM, TERENCE  Spectral Life  LP   (Shelter Press)   23.00
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     As a member of blackened kosmische architects Locrian, Terence Hannum has had a hand in harnessing some of the coolest, darkest synthscapes and blasts of sonic desolation I've listened to in recent years. When he's working solo, though, Hannum's work can take more minimal, amorphous forms. Now sold out from the label, Spectral Life was one of the first solo releases to appear from Terence Hannum, a member of Chicago-based kosmische crush ensemble Locrian. With sleeve art that draws from his visual art that is largely obsessed with strange abstract visions of hair, this Lp is a stunning abyssic zone-out, the core sounds are for the most part the same as Locrian's, drawing heavily from vintage space music, dark synthesizer-based soundscapes and carefully crafted blats of jet-black drone, and fans of that band's work will find much of he same dark, amorphous grandeur here. But Hannum does give this Lp a slight twist, the first side "Invocation Of Deities" rumbling forth on a billowing, faintly luminescent fog of murky percussive reverberations and distant metallic clank. It's got this fantastic malevolent vibe from the start, those swirling gusts of metallic rumble and rattle buried beneath a heavy blackness, and as it unfolds across its thirteen minute duration, Hannum unleashes a pulsating electronic drone that drills through the muted ambience, leading the side through some interesting shifts into looping cosmic chorales and darkly gorgeous synthdrift, evolving from a minimalist horror-movie score into something more unearthly, slipping downward in a beautiful multi-part finale that at one point resembles classic Tangerine Dream as heard through a wall of black soil, muffled and ghostly.

     When the other track "Total Dissolution" suddenly crashes in on the b-side, it's as a jarring din of crashing cymbals, abrasive metallic noise that seems to be looped round and round, circling swells of ominous droning drift. It's still quite eerie though, settling into an odd, almost ritualistic feel as the sounds continue to loop and circle each other, and creepy EVP-like voices surge out of the background, building to this swarming hive of clattery chaos that eventually blossoms into another powerful synth-drone. The second half of the side is gorgeous, transformed into a gleaming, noctilucent wash of midnight psychedelia, seraphic voices stretched wide over waves of distorted guitar and clustered keyboards.

     Issued in a limited edition of four hundred copies.



DEATH FACTORY  Drone Footage  CD   (No Sides)   9.99
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Along with the excellent psychnoise experience of the Artifacts tape, this earlier disc also features main man Michael Krause teamed with William Sides to produce some more longform lysergic-laced post-industrial darkness. On this 2017 recording, Krause continues to handle the synthesizers, percussion, and electronic elements with Sides adding on the additional synths and electronic signals to produce a five-track ful length that gets even more demented than their other collaboration.

Death Factory's patented blend of coarse electronics, sculpted noise, and grinding rhythm-based loop-scapes with classic kosmischemusic and psychedelia

A gruesome bass-squelch appears, writhing around in a clotted mess of ghostly feedback and synth blurp, an abberant blasphemy of something vaguely reminiscent of an Asiatic melody, while swarms of snarling electronics and whirring glitch dart and flit overhead; the sound of that opener "Revelation of the Fendahl" is a bizarre, semi-structured scaffold of trippy, twisted metal and bedraggled signal-waves. Despite the Dr Who reference in the title, this feels more and more schizophrenic as it unfolds, the sounds melting into one another and cereating a malformed mass of FX-fuckery. A prelude to the nearly half-hour "Knight Forces"? When that suddenly kicks in, it wipes the slate free of debris, initially laying down a faint filimient of high-tone feedback and an imperceptible mechanical thrum deep under the sdurface; an eerie minimalist noisescape that extends outwards over the epic duration of the piece. It borders on pure ambient presence, hinting at some of the most sparse early Prurient works, but posessed with Krause's signature attention to grimy detail. That spectral whine and whirr gets demolished by an abrupt blast of hideous gurgling synth and skull-scraping percussive overload, like hearing a corpse in the midst of a military blast-test that has been outfitted with numerous contacts mics - it's a frenzied and frankly somewhat nauseating sprawl of deranged effect-pedal violence and heavily amplified scrape and skree that has a real visceral effect on the listener. Definitely still in the borderlands, spying only the most loathsome aspects of electronic psych-spurt, backed by what sounds like mic'd metal or other objects being beaten into pieces. Some of the lower tones that the duo hits on this track are intense; the spaced-out effects and garbled chaos can sometimes evoke the pissed-off electronic overload of Bastard Noise, Pain Jerk, or even Actuary. Again, visceral. This is Death Factory at its most physically assaultive.

There's another "shorter" piece, "Live in Kalamozoo"; definitely sounds live, and sounds like the duo are doing some serious damage to the audience by way of waves of massive low-end synthesizer drone and grinding bass, ultimately unleashing their signature brain-scrambling devil-Moog hysterics that were probably rattling the beer cups out of everyone's hands. I can hear some people in attendance are seriously feeling it. That earthquake monster is followed by two more long-form noise attacks, "Restraint is Hard" and "Neverwhere (for Crazy Andy) " that again pull you into spare and threatening fields of electrified malfunction and malfeasance, streaking a low-end sub-strata of guttural synth with delay-soaked effects and that gnarled feedback twisted and shaped into something terrible. That contrast between large minimal sound spaces and bomb-blasts of distorted, mangled synthesizer seizure seems to be the driving MO behind the bulk of this disc. Yiou don't get as much of the wild LSD-wrecked psych-filth and faux-Moog monstrosities I usually hear with older Death Factory recorings. They are here, just held back, caged up, pulling at the chain but not being unleashed until the duo have buiilt everything up to an intended level of tension through those sprawling drone-fields and ascents onto immense death-ambient monoliths. But when they let loose with that Hawkwind-in-a-blender synthesier maelstrom that Krause has made his signature sound (and by god, he goes there, he transforms the last twenty minutes of this album into something terrifying and apocalyptic), and it feels like I've got Venusian vermin chewing my feet off as Planet X starts its approach to Earth and the skies burn black above me, it drives my endorphnes through the fuckling roof. This is something a little different. Still abrasive, but different.

Comes in a plastic DVD case.


Track Samples:
Sample : Revelation Of The Fendahl
Sample : Restraint Is Hard
Sample : Neverwhere (For Crazy Andy)


BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS  Cognitive Emancipation  CD   (Hathenter)   15.99
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MANSON, CHARLES  Walking In The Truth  LP   (TPOS)   17.99
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DIE KREUZEN  October File  CD   (Touch & Go)   14.99
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Track Samples:
Sample : Among the Ruins
Sample : On the Streets
Sample : Pain/ Sick People
Sample : Open Lines


IGNIVOMOUS  Hieroglossia  LP   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)   19.99
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Psychotic death chaos. This is what exudes from 2019's Hieroglossia, the third full-length album from this Australian band. It's actually been awhile (seven years) since these beasts destroyed me with their last one , Contragenesis, and their nihilistic, violently expressive energy remains as enveloping as it ever has. Ignivomous has been one of my favorite Aussie death metal bands for awhile, shaking off that now-pejorative "cavernous" cliche that has dogged so many of the bands from that region over the past fifteen years; these guys are clearly moved by the iconic Incantation-style of death metal that exists in the tangledd root-system of most of the Melbourne-area death metal scene, but just like most of their peers, Ignivomous push that aesthetic out into stranger, more nebulous fields of ectoplasm-smeared weirdness. Hell yeah.

A rush of crushing, repetitious-but-hypnotic riffing blows in from some sulfuric source, the music beginning its continuous progression from those catchy, grinding deeath mertal riffs into more off-kilter, more technical guitar structures, blurs of droning single-chord noise, the rhythm section sinuously shifting from powerful tempo changes to gonked-out breakdowns to angularized grooves with sharp edges. Starting with the title track, each song unfurls into a crazed riff-collage, putrescent guttural roars echoing and stretching over and through the roiling violence. Getting deeper into Hieroglossia reveals what seems like a newfound predeliction for more bizarre guitar textures and riff assemblage, sudden dropouts into these almost synthlike dirges. When the drummer lets 'er rip and goes nuclear with the blastbeats, the songs like "Circle of Scythes" and "Cloaked in Resplendent Perdition" can begin to blur into an almost impenetrable wall of noise; these moments are constrained for a portion of the album, releasing total chaotic destruction at the peak of these gonzo complex melodies and skronky riffs. It never gets into Gorgutsian levels of confusional craziness, but this is definitely a more experiemntal and expansive album than the flesheating murkstorms of the previous album Contragenesis. Which, naturally, has me droolin'all over it. Fans of more conventional death metal might get irked over the increasingly whacked-out song structures and eccentric riff sequences - there are more than a few moments on the albbum where the songs seem to lead, uh, nowhere, these really offbeat formations and non-sequiters that challenge anything along the lines of "traditional" death metal songcraft. which makes it a difficult listen in someways, even when the more flowing leads and lumbering, doom-laden grooves kick in. And the guitar solos reach some absurd heigjhts of intensity, complexity, and dissonance, not to mention being slimed all over these eight songs.

Honestly, I think Contragenesis is still my favorite album from the band so far, but the thorny insanity that Ignivomous delivere here is pretty undeniable. Some of the highlights for me included the razor-cyclone chaos of "Shackles of the Demiurge " and its wild lattice-work of hyperfast alien lead lines; the comparatively more straightforward pummelling that "Thalassophobia " delivers, while the drumming is relentless from beginning to end. "Blood & Mercury" evokes some of the alchemical imagery of previous work while clobbering you with what feels like you are listening to two copies of Onward To Golgatha, one playing forward, the other in reverse. "Gaunt Redemption Parasite" slips into an almost funereal doom-death crawl laced with stirring mournful leads and shifting rhythmic churn, then closes with a mysterious spoken word passage. And closer "Vitriolic Swarm " is the ultimate berserker eruption, blendin that blasting inchoate chaos and spine-snapping tempo/riff changes and confusiona time signnature and puzzling chord progressions all into one buzzing nightmare of outre death metal horror.


Track Samples:
Sample : Hieroglossia
Sample : Cloaked In Resplendent Perdition
Sample : Vitriolic Swarm


SLOGUN  A Breed Apart / The Die Song  CD   (Bloodlust!)   12.99
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NO TREND  More  CD   (Morphius Archives)   12.98
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Thrilled to finally have this on the shelves, the final and long-forgotten fourth album from one of my favorite Marylabd bands of all time. My skull inverted the first time that I heard these guys, which would have to have been their notorious Touch & Go album Tritonian Nash-Vegas Polyester Complex from 1986. I had no idea what I was getting into when I borrowed a dubbed tape of Tritonian from one of my skinhead pals down the street, I just knew that this band was really annoying the hardcore crowd for some reason. As a devotee of musical irritation, I couldn't wait to hear 'em , but I was honestly thrown into a state of confusion when that album kicked off. Having not yet fallen down the rabbitholes of noise rock and experimental music to any great degree, the shambling, sludgy, almost Dada-istic approach to punk that I heard was beyond illuminating.

Zappa

A vintage-sounding spoken introduction opens the album, setting a mild and welcoming mood. And then the band detonates the bonkers ska-punk of "Fuzzy Dice", their signature absurdist lyrics sounding even more whack as they are delivered over a tight rhythmic skank-a-thon with brass horns blasring at full power, spiked with some wild guitar soloing and killer bass runs. Then it runs into "Sorry I Asked", a maudlin soft-rock melody unfolding into chorus-rich guitars, some kind of mutant 80's style jangle pop, but with these sinister discordant skronk breaks constantly rattling the weirdly pretty verses and instrumental passages. The No Trend guys deliver fantastic musicianship with all of these sounds, and Cliff Ontego's sneering vocals are present everywhere. This crazed mashup of ska, doo-wop, R&B, funk, and melodic rock persists through the rest of the album (alternating between stuff that sounds like Dream Academy, or Fishbone, or Top 40 soul), with these unexpected bursts of hardcore tempos and bone-scraping noise rock crashing into the songs left and right. The soulful backup vocals and staccato hooks on "Spank Me (With Your Love Monkey, Baby)" are played with genuine prowess amd energy, and the whole sound just gets weirder and weirder as you move thropugh the rest of More; I can see why Touch & Go were so stymied by what they heard here, with much of the album coming off as so insanely radio-friendly, even as that abrasive, almost threatening presence undulates just below the surface. At the same time, to my ears this sounds like a natural progression from No Trend's previous album, pushing the stylistic schizophrenia and pop hooks to new heights but infecting these songs with a subtle, soured aggression that makes the other two songs ("Last On Right, Second Row" and "Bel-Pre Declining") feel like things could go horrrifyingly awry at any moment. It's awesome.

And then after all of that, they lead you by the nose into the eighteen minute closer "No Hopus Opus", which at first has a shimmering drone-rock sound, huge backing choruses and gleaming guitars folding together in an imposing , menacing wash of sound. Only to abruptly break into a cacophonous punk rock charge, fast paced drumming and randon music notes blurring into a confusional chaos. And thus it mutates, as No Trend treat this epic like something out of a proggy rock opera, slipping back into that scintillating guitar pop, then strange psychedelic pieces, then more of that ska-like sound but bent into weirder shapes now, all with Ontego dropping hilarious and nonsensical lyrics that are part of a larger narrative. It's all beautifully put together, opening into bizarre acid-drenched vistas of improvisation playing, everything soaked in echo and delay, the whole middle part twisting into a somewhat spooky sounding freeform jam, a few sudden flashes almost resembling Magma, then evolving into a killer fast-paced Naked City-esque improv-punk freakout with all horns blazing. Huge rhythmic grooves appear alongside shattered hardcore riffs, and the band shapes it all into a catchy melody that runs out the song.

If this had been released in the early 90s, i think it would have had a completely different trajectory.

The detailed essay from Jack Rabid in the booklet is a great read, going into detail about the Touch & Go fallout, as are the unreleased archive photos.


T